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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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 11, 2021

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.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

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” treatment 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.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Is Flossing Really Still Necessary?

The Associated Press released an article in 2016 which claimed that there is insufficient research to prove the benefits of flossing. This made some people start to believe that flossing doesn’t actually do much to improve dental health.

So why do dental professionals still encourage their patients to floss?

The Benefits of Flossing

The purpose of flossing is to disturb plaque bacteria between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Plaque forms within minutes after eating and contains acids and germs that wear away tooth enamel. This is the beginning of the decay process. Dental plaque is also responsible for triggering gum inflammation that can lead to gum disease.

The data on flossing’s effectiveness may be limited, but it does show that the practice has many potential benefits and no risks.

What has been proven beyond a doubt is that dental plaque is responsible for decay and gum disease. It grows on teeth within minutes and can have an adverse effect on gum tissue within days.

You can’t just leave plaque on your teeth no matter which surface it develops on. That plaque turns into stone-like dental calculus, or tartar.

Tartar irritates the gums and attracts more bacteria. It quickly accumulates below the gumline right between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Flossing removes plaque before it has the chance to turn into tartar. This, in turn, can reduce your risk for gum disease.

Flossing is still considered an effective method to prevent oral disease. There isn’t anything to be gained from stopping the habit.

Your oral health won’t improve if you stop flossing.

Is Flossing Dangerous?

Flossing incorrectly can cut your gums and be very uncomfortable. Some theorize that this allows dangerous bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body.

In reality, the same scenario can result anytime you accidentally bite your lip, cheek or tongue. Flossing doesn’t increase the risk of bacteria entering your bloodstream.

Rather, not removing the bacteria can increase your risk of developing a form of gum disease called periodontitis. Unlike flossing, this disease is associated with serious conditions like heart disease and stroke.

Why Dentists Want You to Floss

Dentists don’t stand to gain materially from urging their patients to floss. If anything, their hope is that flossing will lower your risk for diseases and improve your oral health. Dentists expect that flossing will reduce your need for their services!

Dental floss is not expensive, so you don’t need to break the bank to follow your dentist’s recommendation to floss daily. At the very least, flossing won’t hurt you even if you believe it doesn’t provide any actual benefits. It’s just an extra step to make sure your teeth are thoroughly clean and reduce your need for fillings in the future.

Can Flossing Help You?

Flossing may be a chore for you and you might worry about whether it’s effective or not. Just remember that it can’t hurt to be thorough in your oral hygiene routine—flossing can only help! Your local dentist can help you discover a method for cleaning between your teeth that’s both easy and effective.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Toothbrushing Tips for People with Braces

Brushing your teeth can seem like an annoying chore. But it’s even worse when you have metal wires affixed to your teeth. Braces tend to be food traps where plaque forms around the brackets almost instantly.

When toothbrush bristles don’t reach all the spaces around your braces, what can you do? The following toothbrushing tips may help you or your child.

Take a New Angle on Brushing

Brushing your teeth when you have braces will take a little longer than normal brushing because there are a few extra surfaces to cover. Taking the time to brush from all angles, however, is worth it.

Tip your toothbrush bristles into the gum line at the base of your teeth. Brush this way along all of your teeth, inside and outside, upper and lower. This clears the plaque away from your gums.

Next, angle the brush against your brackets from below and brush them in that direction. Switch to the opposite side of the brackets to clean those sides, as well. Remember to brush along the chewing surfaces of your teeth, too.

By angling your brush, you can effectively clean your teeth around your braces.

Use an Interdental Brush

An interdental brush has a little cone-shaped tip of bristles attached to a handle. You can easily slip this fuzzy tip between your teeth and the wire to get the spots your regular toothbrush misses.

Go Electric

A powered toothbrush almost always makes brushing easier. The vibrations from the brush essentially blast plaque bacteria away from the brackets on your teeth, which is more than you could accomplish with a regular toothbrush alone. Plus, an electric toothbrush means less work for you to do.

Try a Hydroflosser

Water flossers send out a stream of water that flushes away debris. Because water provides the mechanical cleaning action, it can’t get stuck in your braces. Instead, you can maneuverer the stream to clean every part of your teeth and brackets.

A water flosser doesn’t replace regular toothbrushing, but it’s a great way to go back and clean the hard-to-reach areas…and will mean that you don’t have to floss!

Get Plenty of Fluoride

Try as you might, it’s impossible to prevent all plaque growth on your teeth and braces. Plaque development starts within minutes after brushing and it grows especially fast after you eat.

The best thing you can do to supplement your orthodontic oral hygiene routine is to get plenty of fluoride. Fluoride is available in toothpaste and some mouthwashes. It’s a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel against decay even when there may be some plaque left behind after brushing.

Visit your dentist to get more tips on keeping your teeth healthy while wearing braces.