All posts in Dental Health Advice

Framing up your beautiful smile

Framing up your beautiful smile

A smile is universal, it crosses racial barriers and cultural differences and as a famous proverb once said, “all people smile in the same language.” Your smile is also one of the most beautiful features of your face. Teeth whitening is one of the most effective ways to give you a brighter, whiter smile. However, to keep your teeth looking their best between any teeth whitening treatment, here are some do’s and don’ts from the experts at Somerset Dental Care.

Eat more: Strawberries, crunchy fruits and vegetables

For people who want to brighten their smile, eat strawberries, it’s not only good for you, but it whitens your teeth naturally in between whitening sessions.[1]  Strawberries are natural teeth whiteners because they contain vitamin C to help remove plaque and a natural astringent to help remove stains. Other edible teeth whiteners include crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and celery.

Drink less: Soft Drink, Coffee and Alcohol

Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria that forms in plaque, leaving a damaging layer over your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque layer feeds on the sugar in sweet drinks, accelerating their damaging effects. The more you drink, the more energy you give these bacteria to attack the enamel on your teeth. It is best to choose beverages like milk, which help strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, giving you a healthy, beautiful smile and water which hydrates your body longer than sugary drinks.

Maintain: a good oral hygiene routine

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day – morning and night. Even better, brush an hour after eating or drinking anything to protect your teeth and gums from sugars or acids in your food. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes. Move your toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion, brushing every surface of your mouth, including your tongue.

Somerset Dental Care offers a range of teeth whitening solutions and our expert dentists can give you brighter and whiter teeth in less than two hours. It’s the perfect solution for busy people who want instant results.

By using the most advanced technology, along with the newest treatments available, our qualified dentists can make sure we get you the best teeth whitening results available.

Come in and see our friendly, experienced staff to talk about your dental care needs or call 1300 707 046. We’ll work together to provide you with a great experience and the best outcome possible.

 

[1] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/makeup-tricks-for-whiter-teeth

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Healthy Holiday Treats – recipes of healthy snacks, treats, and meals for post-Christmas feasts

Healthy Holiday Treats – recipes of healthy snacks, treats, and meals for post-Christmas feasts

With summer holidays upon us, thoughts of long warm days languishing by the pool as the sun goes down often make us think of beautiful summer salads and dishes. However, summer holidays can also mean overindulging on sugary treats such as candy canes and sacks full of lollies and chocolates.

Somerset Dental of course want you to enjoy treats, sweets, and snacks, but always in moderation and not at the detriment of the health of your teeth. Now that Christmas is over for another year, we have put together some healthy treats, sweets, and meals you can enjoy this summer.

Prawn and Avocado Rice Paper Rolls

Perfect for hot summer days where you don’t want to be stuck cooking in a hot kitchen but still want healthy and tasty food for the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 50g rice stick or vermicelli noodles
  • 150g snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and stoned
  • 12 rice paper rounds (22cm)
  • 18 cooked prawns, shelled, deveined and cut in half lengthways
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce

Method

  1. Place noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook snow peas in a small saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute. Refresh under cold running water and drain well.
  3. Slice snow peas and avocado lengthways into thin strips. Divide filling ingredients evenly.
  4. To make rolls: Soak the rice paper in warm water until just softened. Remove from the bowl and place on a plate. Put 3 prawn halves into the centre of the rice paper. Add a mint leaf, coriander leaf, snow peas, avocado, carrot and noodles. Fold over rice paper and roll up, pressing edge to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  5. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

[Recipe with thanks to Cancer Council]

Spinach & Kale Greek Yoghurt Dip

Like cheese, yoghurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good choice for the strength and health of your teeth. Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are also high in calcium and contain folic acid which has numerous general and oral health benefits. Enjoy this dip with raw veggies, crackers or chips.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt.
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach
  • 4 green onions (green part only), finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup red capsicum, finely minced
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste, as needed
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to allow flavours to build.

[Recipe with thanks to Kims Cravings]

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Instead of reaching for the candy canes or seemingly endless box of chocolates, nutritious and vitamin-packed snacks are handy to keep in the fridge ready for kids these holidays.

  • Baby carrots with hummus dip
  • Air-popped popcorn with a dusting of cinnamon
  • Apple slices topped with peanut butter
  • Frozen banana slices mashed into ice cream

Healthy Candy Cane

Healthy Candy Cane
We know Christmas is behind us and sure it might not hang well on the tree, but this is a fun and healthy way to make a festive Candy Cane and it only takes two ingredients – banana and strawberries.

  1. Chop the bananas and strawberries into bite size chunks
  2. Arrange them into a candy cane shape starting with banana then strawberry and so on

Cheese Snacks

Cheese contains calcium which is good for your teeth and can be a great snacking option rather than other foods loaded with sugar and the pH balancing effects help neutralize acid that’s in alcoholic beverages.

Complement your healthy lifestyle with a healthy smile. Call Somerset Dental Care today on 1300 707 046 and make an appointment.

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To pull or not to pull – do I need a tooth extraction?

To pull or not to pull – do I need a tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction is a procedure where a tooth that’s causing pain gets removed from its place in the gum. While many people need a tooth extraction, only few know much about it. To learn whether you need a tooth extraction, chew over this helpful guide.

There are several reasons why dentists will consider a tooth extraction. The most common is when a tooth is impacted, which stops it from growing normally. This is often why many dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal. Another is to make room in the mouth for proper tooth alignment. And one more is when teeth are badly damaged and impossible to repair.

How do I find out if I need an extraction?

Visit Somerset Dental Care for a simple dental exam that will show signs of possible problems. If your dentist suggests a tooth extraction, have the procedure as soon as possible. Leaving the tooth can cause pain, infection, and misalignment. And if your wisdom teeth are the trouble, the only way to avoid discomfort is wisdom teeth removal.

Next, your dentist will X-ray the area to see what treatment you may need.

Once the tooth extraction is over, expect some swelling and pain. This swelling is completely normal and actually part of the healing process, but you can reduce it by using warm compresses to relieve the soreness.

In the first few days after the surgery, choose softer foods and be gentle when brushing near the area of extraction. And throughout the recovery process, be sure to follow your dentist’s directions to avoid any complications that could interfere with your healing and health.

To get the Somerset Dental Care you deserve, call us today on 1300 707 046, or make an appointment.

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The Royal Crown – Maintaining Teeth With Serious Issues

The Royal Crown – Maintaining Teeth With Serious Issues

The benefits of maintaining good healthy teeth are well known. However, once teeth have serious issues or are weakened by treatments such as fillings or crowns, there is even more a reason to maintain good dental hygiene.

By maintaining a daily routine of good dental hygiene, you can increase your chances of keeping your teeth for a lifetime and reduce the risk of ongoing serious dental issues that could result in pain, discomfort, tooth loss, and unnecessary expensive procedures.

Having good oral hygiene is an essential part of keeping healthy teeth and gums, and maintaining the health of already weakened teeth is even more important. Here are FIVE preventative actions you can take to keep your teeth in tip-top condition…

1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Just as with your natural teeth, the durability of crowns depends on how well you look after them. Gum disease and tooth decay can still occur to the tooth underneath the crown. The easiest way to avoid having a crown get decay underneath it is to pay special attention at home to the edges of the crown where it attaches to the tooth.  Brush and floss are mandatory for long life of a crown.  As well, special cleaning tools may be needed. Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-up and clean appointments can help your crown last longer.

2. Change Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes should be changed every 2-3 months. Toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and bacteria, which after a while can build up to significant levels.

Even with a crown, the tooth underneath can still decay. Studies show that after three months of normal wear and tear, toothbrushes are much less effective at removing plaque from teeth and gums compared to new ones. The bristles break down and lose their effectiveness in getting to all those tricky corners around your teeth.

An electric toothbrush is also great for getting a clean, healthy mouth.

3. Have A Healthy Diet

What you eat has a huge impact on your teeth. A diet high in sugar increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease while having highly acidic foods such as lemons can erode enamel.

If you have a dental crown, you should avoid chewy and sticky foods as these have the potential to grab and pull at the crown, which in turn can directly impact the overall life of the crown. Chewy and sticky foods to avoid can include chewing gum, caramel, chewy lollies, and even raisins. In addition to foods that are chewy and sticky, those that are hard should also be avoided as they can break a porcelain crown.

Following a diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables that is high in calcium will minimise your risk of developing dental issues.

4. Floss With Care

Dental floss is an important part of an important part of good regular dental hygiene. However, dental flow needs to be used more carefully around a crown. Try to gently slide it and not lift it out with force as you don’t want to lift the crown.

5. Having Regular Check Ups

Having regular dental check-ups can help identify any problems with your dental crown early on. Healthy mouths are recommended to get a professional clean at least twice a year. For those with more serious issues, more frequent intervals may be required.

To make an appointment or to speak to our expert friendly consultants please contact Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046.

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Don’t Mind The Gap – Build A (Dental) Bridge

Don’t Mind The Gap – Build A (Dental) Bridge

If you have a missing or lost tooth, getting a traditional dental bridge can make all the difference to your smile. Dental bridges basically bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth.

Patients are often recommended a cosmetic dental bridge due to strain they can experience when chewing, discomfort when biting down, or having trouble speaking (because of missing teeth). Missing teeth also put pressure on the remaining teeth to work harder, which can increase the possibility of tooth decay, gum disease, and crooked teeth.

Somerset Dental Care’s experienced dentists use the natural teeth or implants on either side of the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. The replacement tooth in between, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. Once that is done, you’ve got your smile back.

A dental bridge is always fixed to a specially prepared tooth. It cannot be fitted to any tooth without prior preparation. Dental bridges are not only way to get your smile back, but they can also be necessary to stop teeth from drifting, can improve your bite and your ability to chew.

Dental bridges can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite materials, and is made of artificial teeth that are bonded to surrounding teeth. There are THREE types of dental bridges.

1. Traditional Fixed Bridges

A traditional fixed bridge is the most commonly used type of bridge to replace one or more missing teeth using the support of two adjacent teeth. Traditional bridges are made from ceramics or porcelain and anchor the neighbouring abutment tooth. Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and will appear and feel similar to the genuine tooth.

2. Resin Bonded (Maryland) Bridges

A resin bonded bridge is used primarily on the front teeth and is necessary when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth do not have large enough fillings. The false tooth has two metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth with resin which is hidden from view.

3. Cantilever Bridges

Unlike a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge supports the fake tooth from one end. Cantilever bridges are most often used when abutment teeth are located on only one side of the missing tooth or in areas of mouth that are under less stress.

If you’d like to improve the look of your smile while at the same time your dental health, a dental bridge might be the solution. The team at Somerset Dental Care can give you the best advice. Contact Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046, to talk through the best options are for you.

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Choosing The Best Brush And Routine

Choosing The Best Brush And Routine

It’s amazing how many different types of toothbrushes there are on the market. But how do you know which toothbrush is best for you? When it comes to choosing between a manual or electric toothbrush, it’s really down to personal choice as both are effective if used properly. Here we take a look at three types of toothbrushes, and how they compare…

Electric

Electric toothbrushes are growing very quickly in popularity thanks to their ease of use and the price point being more accessible. Electric toothbrushes allow you to choose from different modes of power, including one for sensitive teeth. The timer function will help you keep to a strict routine and pressure sensors will alert you if you are brushing too hard. Children may find electric toothbrushes more fun, and you may find them easier to use and more comfortable.

Manual

Manual toothbrushes can have square or rectangular shaped heads; others can have diamond heads designed for better access to your back teeth. Then there’s the different patterns in the bristles, and the ranges of hard, medium and soft, all to make better contact with your teeth. Just remember to avoid damaging your teeth and gums during brushing. If you are a vigorous brusher, consider a softer bristle to avoid pressure. Hard bristles should be avoided, because they are often too abrasive on the gums and teeth.

Ergonomic

Toothbrush manufacturers say a good toothbrush is in the science. The ergonomic toothbrush has especially designed handles and brush heads, tongue scrapers, grip contours, hand traction control, left hand and right hand versions, all to help give you a better experience when cleaning your teeth.

When it comes to your best option, ask the experts! At your next appointment, ask the team at Somerset Dental Care is the best toothbrush for your mouth.

To schedule your next visit, please contact Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046, and we’ll help choose the right toothbrush for you.

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Pregnancy Health – 5 Tips To Maintain Your Smile During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Health – 5 Tips To Maintain Your Smile During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal changes that are a natural part of pregnancy can affect your oral health. For example, some pregnant women can experience especially sensitive teeth and gums.

However, a lot of women wonder if it is safe to visit the dentist while they are pregnant… The answer is yes. Dental cleanings and treatments are safe and encouraged for pregnant women, because a healthy mouth is as important for you as it is for your baby.

The best way to have a healthy smile during pregnancy is to practice good oral health. Here are 5 helpful tips:

#1: Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush twice daily, thoroughly cleaning along the gum line, and use a fluoride toothpaste to help keep plaque from building.

#2: Floss at least once a day between your teeth so that acid created from plaque can be removed, reducing gum disease.

#3: Since morning sickness often comes with pregnancy, it’s important to brush regularly to prevent stomach acid from affecting your teeth. Baking soda acts as an acid neutralizer, so rinsing thoroughly with it can stop the acid from harming your teeth.

#4: What you eat when you’re pregnant not only has a great impact on your baby’s health, but it also has an important role in your oral health. Try to limit acidic foods that can wear away enamel and focus on eating healthy or organic foods that are free from pesticides.

#5: Even if you’ve established a healthy cleaning routine for your mouth, you should have at least one dental clean during your pregnancy and always be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant.

Importantly, if you do require dental treatment such as cavity fillings or other emergency work while you’re pregnant, then it’s best to seek advice from the team at Somerset Dental Care. Call 1300 707 046 today.

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Pulp Fiction – can a tooth function without pulp?

Pulp Fiction – can a tooth function without pulp?

Having a toothache can be one of the worst pains imaginable. And leaving it too long only means the pain can become unbearable. So why does tooth pain occur?

The pulp inside your tooth is the tooth’s alarm system. When something goes wrong, such as decay or trauma, the pulp sends out a warning, which you experience as intense pain.

Dental pulp is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue that provides the tooth with nutrients for keeping the tooth alive, healthy, and functioning. As soon as the tooth has fully matured, it no longer needs the pulp to survive.

That means a tooth can function without pulp.

The tooth can get nutrients from surrounding tissue. That’s why the pulp can be removed without causing harm to the infected tooth. This is known as root canal treatment.

During treatment, Somerset Dental Care remove the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth are cleaned and filled. Once we have cleaned and sealed your tooth, we recommend to protect your tooth with a crown, keeping your tooth in place long term.

Root canal treatment requires three to four appointments, and sometimes if there are many roots to the tooth, you may be referred to an Endodontist, a specialist in root canal therapy.

If you’ve got a terrible toothache, then don’t leave it too long, call Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046 and make an appointment today.

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