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Monday, January 25, 2021

6 Lifestyle Choices That Can Destroy Your Dental Health

Everyone likes to have the freedom to express themselves and live life as they please. But it’s still good to be aware of the consequences of your lifestyle choices so that you don’t suffer any unexpected hardships.

Here are six lifestyle choices and everyday habits that can have surprisingly dangerous effects on your oral health.

Smoking

Smoking can reduce blood circulation to your oral tissues. It also slows down the healing process in your body. Tobacco use can also cause you dry mouth. These factors combined create a prime environment for infections to thrive inside of your mouth.

Gum disease is a serious bacterial infection that can cause the tissues around your teeth to break down. This results in gum recession and potentially even tooth loss. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease by making it easier for the disease to progress at a faster rate.

Alcohol Consumption

There’s nothing wrong with a couple of alcoholic drinks now and then. But frequent consumption brings your mouth into steady contact with alcohol. Alcohol is very drying to oral tissues and cavity-causing bacteria thrive in such environments.

Additionally, frequent alcohol exposure increases your risk of developing oral or throat cancer. You should pay particular attention to getting regular oral cancer screenings with your dentist.

Energy Drinks

Medical researchers have discovered several negative health impacts associated with energy drinks and one of those is an increased risk of tooth decay. Energy drinks are loaded with carbonation, acid and sugar, which are all terrible for tooth enamel.

A habit of consuming energy drinks can thin out your teeth, opening them up to attacks by cavity-causing germs.

Oral Piercings

Oral jewellery makes a statement, subtle or bold, and represents your autonomy over your body.

But this form of self-expression comes with a price you should consider.

Your mouth is meant to consist of limited structures that include your teeth and tongue. When you put extra objects in there in the form of jewellery, they equal extra surfaces for bacteria and debris to collect on.

If you don’t keep your oral jewellery clean, the pierced sites can easily get infected or transmit bacteria to other parts of mouth. What’s more, hard posts can wear against your teeth and rub away the enamel creating a sensitive worn spot.

There’s also the risk of injury. If get hit in the mouth in an accident, a sharp plastic or metal piercing can stab your gums. That’s not considering biting down on it accidentally and cracking a tooth in half (it happens fairly often!)

Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

Like many others, you might have chosen the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle as a reflection of your values concerning the environment. Or, simply to filter out other types of foods from your deit.

That lifestyle choice is noble, but if it’s not done correctly, it could be disastrous for your teeth. With your food options being a bit more limited, you might be prone to snacking on “safe” foods that are high in sugar or empty carbs. Such items increase your risk of tooth decay.

Smokeless Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco has been linked to oral cancer. Lesions typically develop in the soft tissue that’s been exposed to tobacco over years of use. Smokeless tobacco contains strong chemicals and agents that alter cheek, lip, tongue and gum tissue on the cellular level.

How are your current lifestyle choices affecting your dental health? Find out by scheduling a visit to the dentist for a checkup.

Monday, December 28, 2020

3 Ways Pregnancy Will Change Your Oral Health

Pregnancy is a time of unusual changes to mum’s body, and her teeth are no exception. If you’re currently pregnant (or trying to be!) then you have a host of hormones to thank for all these changes. Here are three ways you can expect your dental health to change during your pregnancy along with some tips that will help you prepare for what to expect.
More Sensitive Gums
The first thing you may notice is your sensitive gums. Those surging hormones, estrogen and progesterone in particular, can make your gums react to the tiniest bit of plaque. They may become swollen, red, itchy, and bleed when touched with a toothbrush or floss.
It is very important to keep your teeth and gums clean at this time. The less plaque on your gums, the better. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and floss gently around each tooth.
Ask your dentist for recommendations on gum care during pregnancy. Now is the time to pay special attention to your gum health as it may be the only time you’re able to do so for a while. You may very soon be distracted by someone else’s needs!
Loss of Tooth Enamel
Some mums suffer from a condition called “hyperemesis gravidarum” which is severe form of morning sickness that mimics symptoms similar to food poisoning.
The bad news for dental health is that repetitive vomiting is damaging to teeth. Being ill on a regular basis means that teeth are exposed to acids nearly every day which dissolve tooth enamel.
Enamel can’t be replaced. As it thins out, teeth progressively get weaker and more sensitive and prone to decay. This ties in with another change in mum’s mouth during pregnancy.
Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
As mentioned above, the loss of enamel speeds up the tooth decay rate. But even mums who don’t struggle with morning sickness may be at an increased risk for developing cavities.
Pregnancy tends to cause unusual cravings. Expectant women feel better after snacking on the foods they’ve been craving. After all, their bodies are working hard, and they deserve a treat!
Those cravings are rarely for a balanced diet rich in a variety of nutritious foods, however.
If you experience such pregnancy cravings, then you may find yourself reaching for sweets or processed carbohydrates. If you’re often nauseous, then your diet may primarily consist of biscuits and fizzy soft drinks or fruit juice, all of which promote tooth decay.
Even if your diet is balanced, you’re probably tempted to slack off on the oral hygiene. Expectant mums tend to have more important issues to worry about than brushing their teeth. But you’ll regret it if you neglect your dental health now! Brush and floss every day and use fluoridated products to keep your mouth strong.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy
Research suggests that aggressive gum disease in pregnant mothers can increase the chances of delivering prematurely, so maintaining good gum health is a must. Keeping your teeth healthy can reduce stress on your body and baby.
Maintain a steady routine of good oral hygiene and visit your dentist for prenatal dental checkups for more information.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Does Your Child Really Need to Visit the Dentist?

You may have several reasons for not bringing your child to the dentist. But there are still a few very important ones why your child should have regularly scheduled dental visits.
Establish a Healthy Foundation for Your Child with Early Dental Care
Your child should learn early on that going to the dentist is not a bad thing. If you wait only until they have a problem to introduce them to your family’s dentist, then they’ll be more likely to associate dental treatment with pain and fear.
The sooner you get your child used to the routine of visiting the dentist, the more cooperative they’ll be. They’ll also have a positive attitude towards their dental health and be brave and calm during dental procedures. You’ll find that dental appointments don’t have to be stressful occasions.
The dentist, yourself, your child–everyone benefits when you start bringing your child in for routine dental care as soon as possible!
Detect and Prevent Dental Problems Before They Even Start
Will your child need braces? What is their cavity risk like? Are there any problems with tooth development?
Find out the answers to these questions and more at your child’s dental appointment. The dentist will use x-rays and other techniques to screen for cavities and other potential problems that can be intercepted or reversed.
Early intervention can head off the problems while they’re still small, before they turn into more painful, complex and expensive ones to correct. Preventative care may limit the need for treatment altogether.
Regular Dental Visits Teach Your Children Good Dental Habits
The early visits and subsequent dental checkups to come are opportunities for your child to learn healthy dental hygiene habits. They’ll be taught easy brushing and flossing techniques that meet their current needs.
Dental professionals will use child-friendly language to explain the importance of caring for your child’s dental health. You the parent will learn about important topics like:
● Caring for your child’s teeth at home
● Dental sealants
● Fluoride
● Your child’s tooth eruption schedule
● When to start orthodontic treatment
● Dental products that are safe for your child
● Proper flossing techniques and oral health product selections
Your child’s dental appointments are crucial learning experiences for the whole family!
Dental Care Is Essential to Your Child’s Overall Health
Oral health is directly connected to overall health. This is true of everyone but especially important for children.
If your child is in pain, they can’t eat a healthy diet, won’t perform well in school and may lose sleep. He or she may even suffer from social anxiety. Oral infections can also lead to infections elsewhere in body.
Even those little baby teeth matter! They are all your child has until his or her adult ones come in. If they fall out too soon, the new teeth may come in crooked. Not to mention, cavities in baby teeth quickly move to infect the incoming new teeth.
Having healthy teeth and gums is critical to your child’s well-being for the future of their smile. Only a dentist can verify that your child’s mouth is problem-free and then help your child maintain optimal oral health.
Dental care is an urgent matter for kids. So, don’t wait any longer. Call today to schedule a dental checkup for each member of your family!

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule—What It Is and How It Affects You

Dental health is an essential aspect of kids’ overall wellness and happiness. Oral pain can negatively impact their diet and sleep schedule and even their performance at school.
What if your family doesn’t have the coverage or funds to afford the dental care your child needs to stay healthy?
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule can help!
In 2014, the Australian Government set up a plan to ensure that all children in the country have access to the dental care they need. This program is called the Child Dental Benefits Schedule or CDBS, for short. At one point it was uncertain whether the CDBS would be continued, but to date it remains available for qualifying families.
What’s Covered Under the CDBS?
The CDBS covers the typical basic preventative and restorative treatments that general/family dentists provide.
These can include:
● Dental cleanings
● Dental exams
● X-rays
● Sealants
● Fillings
● Root canals
● Extractions
Each qualifying child is entitled to a total of $1,000 in benefits that can be used towards such procedures over a given two-year period. These benefits can be spread out over the course of the two years or used up at once on urgent necessary treatment.
You’ll notice that what isn’t covered are cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and implants. Your child can still receive any treatments you want them to have, but you’ll have to pay the gap yourself for procedures that exceed or are not covered by the $1,000 allowance.
Who’s Covered Under the CDBS?
Children ages 2-17 can qualify for the CDBS as long as they are within that age range for at least one day in a given year.
Consider, for example, a 17-year-old who turns 18 on second day of January. They are still entitled to their benefits throughout the rest of that year.
Additionally, qualifying kids need to be a part of a family that is already receiving Medicare payments and other benefits from the Australian Government such as Family Tax Benefit A. Dentists who accept Medicare are qualified to provide your child with services under the CDBS.
Does Your Child Qualify for the CDBS?
Your child should qualify for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule as long as he or she is receiving government benefits and is in the acceptable age bracket.
Are you not sure about which other government assistance qualifies your child for the CDBS? Do you have any other questions about the program? You can contact Medicare directly to learn more or for help enrolling.
Otherwise, head to a dental office that accepts Medicare payments and ask for their help in determining which services your child qualifies for.
Make the Most of the CDBS!
The Australian Government instituted the Child Dental Benefits Schedule on the basis of the understanding that dental care is a basic human need. You owe it to your family to make the most of this provision and ensure your child has access to dental treatment when they need it.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is one potential way for your child to access the dental care that is so vital to their health and happiness. As long as your child qualifies, we urge you to take full advantage of the program! Call your family’s dentist to find out more.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Dental Trauma and First Aid: What to Do in an Emergency

You’ve heard time and again that you should remain calm during an emergency. The following tips can prepare you so that you won’t need to panic the next time a dental emergency arises.
Step 1: Assess
The first thing to do is evaluate the situation to determine how serious it is. You shouldn’t take long to do this; just look around quickly to decide whether or not the injury needs the attention of emergency services.
For example, if the trauma has affected a large portion of the face and there is heavy bleeding, or the victim is unconscious, you’ll need to get professional emergency help right away.
If you realise that your child is just bleeding from a small cut on his or her lip, then that may be something you can attend to yourself.
Step 2: Clean Up
Have the injured person rinse their mouth out very gently with warm water. They should not swish vigorously; just rinse enough to get out any blood or debris. Salt water is good for cleansing a wound and reducing swelling.
Step 3: Reassure
The injured person may be quite shaken after an injury to the mouth, especially when bleeding is involved. Reassure them as you help clean up that everything will be okay. Calming them down will help you take better care of them during the process.
Step 4: Recover
If there are any broken teeth or restorations that chipped off during the injury, try to recover them. Accounting for the pieces minimises the risk of inadvertently swallowing them. It could also be helpful to show the dentist later what broke off, in case it can be bonded back.
What if an entire tooth was knocked out?
Locate the tooth and pick it up by the crown (chewing portion). Avoid touching the root. Rinse it off in a bowl of clean cool water. Do not use soap. After rinsing off the debris, try to reinsert it back in the injured person’s mouth.
If reinserting the tooth isn’t an option, store it in a container of milk or have the victim keep it in their mouth, holding it between their cheek and teeth. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Step 5: Stop the Bleeding
There is often heavy bleeding with oral injuries. Apply clean gauze to the injured site and have the victim gently bite down to hold the gauze in place. Alternatively, bags of black tea leaves are good for slowing down bleeding.
Step 6: Treat the Pain
The injured person may need to take paracetamol for the pain. Make sure that if they take a painkiller that it’s one their doctor has stated is safe for them.
An icepack on the outside of the face is a good way to numb discomfort as well.
Step 7: Contact a Dentist
Get to a dentist as soon as possible. Ideally, you should have your dentist’s contact information at the ready. It’s important to know who you’ll call when a dental emergency arises and what to do if an injury occurs outside of office hours.
The next time you meet with your local dentist, make a point to discuss your emergency dental treatment options.

Monday, August 24, 2020

4 Reasons to Get Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment in Australia. They don’t repair or strengthen teeth the way crowns or fillings do, but they can be very helpful in improving some of the aesthetic challenges in your smile.
What Are Dental Veneers?
Veneers are thin shells usually made of porcelain, which are dyed to the shade of your choosing. They replace a thin layer of enamel on the outer face of upper front teeth. You may choose to get just a couple of veneers to improve the appearance of particular teeth, or several veneers across multiple teeth to create a more uniform look in your smile.
How to Get Dental Veneers
Your dentist will first trim away a thin layer of enamel from the front of each tooth you want to place a veneer on. Next, an impression is taken so that your dentist has a mould of the shape of your prepared teeth.
You’ll get temporary covers to wear on your teeth until your veneers are completed. Once they’re ready, your dentist will remove the temporary covers and bond the veneers in place with a permanent dental cement.
Why should you think about enhancing your smile with dental veneers? Here are a few of the ways veneers could help your teeth look their best.
1. Smooth Out Rough Enamel
Do you have any teeth with rough textures that show when you smile? Whether your tooth has natural enamel defects or was damaged in some way, a veneer can give it a smoother texture.
2. Close Up Gaps Between Teeth
Your teeth may be perfectly straight, save for a gap in your smile. If you’d like to close up that space without getting braces, veneers may be your best solution. Veneers placed on two neighbouring teeth can be made just slightly wider than the natural teeth were before, so that they hide the gap.
3. Even Out Tooth Size
If you’re embarrassed that one front tooth is bigger than the other, or some look shorter and out of place, then you can bring the smaller one up a few sizes with a dental veneer to match the ones around it.
4. Brighten Dull Smiles
Do you have teeth that won’t lighten in colour no matter how much you bleach them? Veneers can mask them completely with a solid porcelain layer so that the stain doesn’t show through.
Do Your Teeth Qualify for Veneers?
Dental veneers can dramatically change the appearance of teeth in just a couple of appointments.
Not all teeth are suited to get veneers, however. Back molars, for example, aren’t good candidates for veneers. They are used for chewing up food, so they experience a lot of biting forces. Similarly, lower front teeth press against the backs of the upper front teeth when you bite. Upper front teeth are usually the only teeth that qualify for veneers.
You’ll also need to be sure that your tooth doesn’t need more support from a restoration such as a dental crown (or have active gum disease) before you get a dental veneer.
A cosmetic dentist can help you determine which of your teeth stand to benefit from dental veneers!

Monday, July 27, 2020

The Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures

Traditional dentures are reliable tooth replacements. For centuries, people have depended on dentures and partials for chewing and smiling. Dental implants are a relatively “new” treatmen by comparison, but that doesn’t mean the concept hasn’t been around just as long.
If you need to replace one or more teeth, you have a few good reasons to think about getting one of today’s modern dental implants instead of a removable full or partial denture.
Implants vs Dentures: Aesthetics
When you compare dentures with implants, which look better? Both can be made to appear very natural. Implants, however, have a slight advantage.
Dentures, full or partial, could be seen in your mouth if someone was looking closely enough. Implants, however, are virtually undetectable.
Implants are metal “roots” that stay seated snugly below the gums. They’re topped off with a lifelike ceramic restoration like a dental crown or bridge. The metal part of the implant is completely hidden. Only the natural-looking restoration is visible, so no one ever has to know that it’s not a “real” tooth.
Implants vs Dentures: Eating
You can chew a wide variety of foods even if you have dentures, but it may take a little practice to become proficient. With dentures, biting pressure is greatly reduced. Most likely, there will always be some foods you’ll have to cut up if you want to eat them with a removable prosthesis, such as:
● Apples
● Steaks
● Lettuce
● Tough breads and rolls
● Pizza
Dental implants on the other hand, have a solid anchor in the bone. This makes them just about as strong as a natural tooth when it comes to chewing food. An implant can handle almost anything natural teeth can.
Implants vs Dentures: Security
Probably the biggest reason people don’t like dentures is the fact that they can rock and slip around. A well-fitted denture shouldn’t cause you any trouble. But you could suffer from the constant fear of what would happen if you sneezed at a party!
Once an implant is in place, it won’t go anywhere. There’s no need for any denture adhesives, either.
Implants vs Dentures: Smile Shape
There is one more added benefit of implants that you may not be aware of. That’s their potential to preserve the shape of your smile.
Traditional dentures rest directly on top of gum tissue. They put pressure on the underlying bone when you bite down. Over time, this kind of force can cause bone in your jaw to shrink away and make your smile look shorter and sunken in.
Because implants are set inside the bone, they can help stimulate it to keep growing much like natural tooth roots do. It can actually be good for the bone in your jaw when you bite down on your implant to chew food. Your soft facial tissues are supported as a result.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Although dental implants have several advantages over traditional dentures, they aren’t automatically a good option for everyone. Some people will do better with dentures because of their individual circumstances and preferences.
There are certain dental and overall health requirements you must meet in order to qualify for a dental implant procedure. Your dentist is your best resource in determining which tooth replacement option is right for you.
Contact a local implant dentist today to schedule a consultation.