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What that juice is really doing to your baby’s teeth

What that juice is really doing to your baby’s teeth

There is a common misconception about the “healthiness” of juices, especially when it comes to the impact it has on the dental health of young children.

As a new parent, you are more than likely extremely concerned with what foods you allow your baby to have. Despite years and years of juice being held as a healthy standard for children and adults alike, it is now thought that consistent consumption of juice can have a significantly damaging effect on tooth enamel, encouraging tooth decay and subsequent infections. Even when mixed with a large percentage of water, exposing your baby’s teeth to the sugars and acids in juice can cause irreversible damage.

Decay occurs when sugar mixes with the bacteria found in the mouth to form a strong acid. This acid then attacks the enamel by softening it. Once the enamel is softened by drinking juice, it is even damaging to brush your baby’s teeth, as this can wear it away faster. So by limiting the amount, as well as the frequency that you allow your child to drink juice, can promote better dental health and avoid serious issues in the future.

By breaking down the softer enamel of your child’s baby teeth, even watered juice can cause very serious dental issues in your child.

This doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate juice from your baby’s diet altogether. Like all sweet and sugary foods, moderation is highly recommended. The dietary recommendations listed on http://www.rethinksugarydrink.org.au/facts/tooth-decay.html suggest that juice is given to children in moderation or substituting it for milk or water.

For more dietary advice and tips on how to protect your baby’s teeth from decay, book an appointment with the friendly staff at Somerset today.

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Give Your Child A Fresh Start for 2016 with the Child Dental Benefits Scheme

Give Your Child A Fresh Start for 2016 with the Child Dental Benefits Scheme

January is the perfect month to get ourselves organised for the year to come. Back to school shopping, summer clean outs and New Years’ resolutions – January is when we have the best motivation and available time to achieve a more organised existence.  It is also the perfect time to commit to comprehensively attending to your child’s dental care.

The national Child Dental Benefits Scheme clicks over each calendar year, entitling eligible children to $1000 per year over a two year period. This can significantly assist with the cost of any general or preventative dental services your child may require. Somerset Dental are proud facilitators of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, offering an extensive range of included services to care for your child’s dental health. Covered services in the scheme include examinations, x-rays, fillings, fissure sealing, cleaning, root canals and extractions but unfortunately excludes any orthodontic and cosmetic services.

To check your eligibility and the Scheme’s details, please visit the Human Services website. There you will find all of the relevant information to make sure you get the very best entitlements offered under this initiative.

To organise either your child’s first or follow up appointment under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, simply advise us that you are eligible when making a booking.

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Teaching your young child effective tooth brushing techniques for life

Teaching your young child effective tooth brushing techniques for life

The most important lessons children learn are from their parents, its mimicking their behaviour that teaches them the right and wrong way to behave and act. Teaching correct teeth brushing is an important lesson to teach your child to get it right from the very beginning. If, like many parents, you’re always rushing out the door….shoes, hair, breakfast, bag, jacket, hat, it can be seemingly impossible to slow down and help your child brush their teeth. But it’s important and needs to be done.

From when baby’s first teeth come through, it’s important to be using a soft cloth to be cleaning them, making sure milk residue is not sticking to their teeth. From there a training toothbrush can be introduced to teach your baby to hold and use the toothbrush.

Until your child can properly brush their own teeth, parents should brush their teeth. The correct technique for brushing includes holding your brush at a 45° angle against your child’s teeth/gums and using vertical or circular strokes. Avoid teaching your child horizontal brushing strokes, as these can damage your teeth/gums and wear away enamel.

Your child should brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, however in the rush to get out the door for pre-school or school, this can sometimes be rushed. Try using a favourite song to brush to or there are a range of free iPhone apps which ensure children enjoy brushing their teeth for 2 to 3 minutes.

As your child gets older and more independent, just because they now can brush their teeth doesn’t mean they are. Checking technique and how long they are brushing for is still important and shows that you are still monitoring their brushing habits.

Proper dental care begins young and the habits that are formed can prevent dental complications and orthodontic treatments for older children. The team at Somerset Dental are here to help you teach your children proper dental hygiene. Contact us today and make an appointment with the team.

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Letting go of the bottles and pacifiers: the best thing for your baby’s teeth.

Letting go of the bottles and pacifiers: the best thing for your baby’s teeth.

Just because baby teeth will fall out and make way for adult teeth, it’s still important to have good dental hygiene for baby teeth as they will pave the way for good, healthy adult teeth.

If your baby is taking the bottle for their milk or formula, it’s important to try not to let the baby develop the habit of sleeping with a bottle at night or nap time, often used to sooth the baby to sleep. The constant milk on their teeth during these sleep times can start early tooth decay.

A pacifier, or dummy, is often used as a sleep time device, the consistency of sucking on the dummy soothing an unsettled baby to sleep.

A dummy can have long term ill effects on the way a baby’s teeth grow, the motion of sucking on the dummy, and the force of the motion, can see teeth grow with gaps or spaces for the dummy. If your child does rely on a dummy, it is important take the dummy away once the child is asleep and not to rely on it outside of sleep times. Experts recommended to wean a baby off a pacifier as early as possible. Easier said than done. Below are some tips for weaning a baby from their dummy.

  • Try and choose a time that isn’t too hectic or when your baby’s routine is going to be interrupted. You need to make the transition as easy as possible to so try not to make it too stressful on yourself or baby.
  • If you child is old enough, talk to them about their dummy and explain what is going to happen to try and make them part of the process
  • If you can’t get rid of it all together, make sure the dummy is strictly put away at times outside of sleep time.
  • If your child is showing positive signs of being without the dummy for periods, set a time to remove it all together
    Reward your child for showing less need of the dummy
  • Like most things with children, consistency is key. Keep your messages to your child consistent, don’t give in and try and not turn back.

Good dental care begins young and the habits that are formed can prevent dental complications and orthodontic treatments for older children. The team at Somerset Dental are here to help you teach your children proper dental hygiene. Contact us today and make an appointment with the team.

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Simple steps to teach your child to brush and floss for good dental care

Simple steps to teach your child to brush and floss for good dental care

Teaching your child a good dental hygiene routine will set them up for healthy long term oral health.

However teaching a busy child to slow down, brush their teeth for 2 minutes and to floss can certainly be a challenge.

Your baby’s first teeth usually appear by the time they are six months old and continue to come through until they have a full set of 20 baby teeth. These first teeth are just as important to keep clean as they are as your child grows. Use a soft clean cloth to clean first teeth before introducing a training toothbrush that is fun and easy for your baby to hold and use.

Fluoride is important for your child’s teeth and toothpaste should be introduced around the age of two. However minty flavoured toothpaste can be its own challenge. There are ranges of alternative mint free flavoured toothpaste that still gives your child the fluoride they need. Look out for these in chemists and even health food stores.

Until your child can properly brush their own teeth, you should brush their teeth for them to assist with proper dental care. The correct technique for brushing includes holding your brush at a 45° angle against your child’s teeth/gums and using vertical or circular strokes. Avoid teaching your child horizontal brushing strokes, as these can damage your teeth/gums and wear away enamel.

Your child should brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, however in the rush to get out the door for pre-school or school, this can sometimes be rushed. Try using a favourite song to brush to or there are a range of free iPhone apps which ensure children enjoy brushing their teeth for 2 to 3 minutes.

Once your child’s teeth start touching each other, it’ time to introduce flossing as the tiny gaps between teeth can’t be reached by brushing alone, and the food build up is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that leads to cavities and decay. To introduce flossing, gently slide the floss between your child’s teeth and work it up and down, against the surfaces of each tooth. Don’t work it against the gums too hard as you don’t want to hurt sensitive gums or create any negative experience around flossing.

Proper dental care begins young and the habits that are formed can prevent dental complications and orthodontic treatments for older children. The team at Somerset Dental are here to help you teach your children proper dental hygiene. Contact us today and make an appointment with the team.

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Is fear of dentists visits real?

Is fear of dentists visits real?

Few people look forward to a dentist visit, but there are those who are paralysed by fear who simply will not go to the dentist out for anxiety and dread. Also referred to as dental phobia, odontopobia or dentophobia, for many sufferers the fear comes from a previous traumatic dental experience that was most likely a difficult or painful procedure.

Fear of going to the dentist affects many Australian children and adults, ranging from a mild uncomfortableness to severe fear which causes them to not seek professional dental care even in an emergency.

A study conducted by the Australian Dental Association has found that 16 per cent of Australians have a strong fear of the dentist. Unfortunately, there is strong and consistent evidence that dental fear is related to poorer oral health, reduce dental visits and poorer oral health-related quality of life.

For those suffers, their fear of dental treatments is real. Overseas studies compare it to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, an emotional reaction caused by previous experience.

Unfortunately being such a sensitive area of the body, some dental procedures are uncomfortable and can result in pain.

At Somerset Dental, our entire team is here to make you comfortable and understand if you have anxiety about your visit to us. Our use behavioural techniques and pharmacological pain management will help allay your fears and ensure you receive regular dental treatment.

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The Hard Facts About Fluoride. Is It Safe?

The Hard Facts About Fluoride. Is It Safe?

Fluoride was introduced into Australian water supplies in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but there are still some concerns regarding the possible health risks of fluoride ingestion, especially given that 90% of Australians are consuming it! So, what is fluoride and – more importantly – is fluoride safe?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in all water supplies that has been found to help prevent tooth decay. Due to this discovery, communities underwent water fluoridation where the naturally occurring fluoride in water supplies were topped up in order to help fight tooth decay. The practice of water fluoridation spread rapidly when it became clear that communities with higher levels of fluoride in their water enjoyed stronger teeth. In fact, studies conducted in 2012 by Australian researchers concluded that water fluoridation led to significant reductions in tooth decay worldwide!

Nonetheless, there are still some community concerns regarding the fluoride that is commonly found in drinking water and dental care products. Whereas the benefits of fluoride have been scientifically proven time and time again, concerns about the potential health hazards of fluoride have not been backed by any field experts or research. In fact, organisations such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Australian Consumers Association (CHOICE) all herald fluoride as an effective means of maintaining your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) went as far to declare that “universal access to fluoride for dental health is a part of the basic human right to life.”[1]

With very little evidence supporting the claim that fluoride is a health hazard, and solid scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of fluoride in maintaining oral health, it’s safe to say that it is not only safe to use but also a recommended part of your oral care routine. In fact, it is already a natural ingredient in the water you drink and the oral care products you use daily!

Simply put, you needn’t worry about fluoride. It is safe, and is only helping to fight the war on tooth decay, and you may not even know it.

If you still have any questions regarding fluoride and your health, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Somerset Dental Care today.



[1] http://www.who.int/oral_health/events/oral%20healthc.pdf

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5 common dental problems in children

5 common dental problems in children

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem and is described as the most common ‘disease’ in Australians. The largest group of tooth decay sufferers are children. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA) 11 million newly decayed teeth develop each year!

Tooth decay is not the only dental problem children suffer, but it is the most common. Children’s dental problems attribute to 600,000 lost school days a year and the number is only growing (ADA). So what are other common dental problems in children? See the list below.

1.Tooth Decay
As already mentioned, tooth decay is the most common dental problem in children. Scarily one in two 12 year olds has decay in their permanent teeth (AIHW). This is due to a lack of good dental care, caused by brushing teeth irregularly, children not seeing a dentist in earlier years and overall diet.

2.Not visiting the dentist
In 2012 just over 1 in 4 children between 2-4years old visited the dentist (AIHW). Missing out on dental services from an early age sets a bad dental standard for life. Prevention is key to optimum oral health, a good teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment protects your teeth until your next six monthly appointment and means less likelihood of needing a tooth filling in the future.

3.Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is pretty normal for young children, however when thumb sucking continues past toddlerhood and when permanent teeth are coming through, it is a cause for concern. Thumb sucking can lead to teeth being pushed out of alignment and can cause an overbite. Prevent your children from thumb sucking and you can prevent your children needing braces.

4.Premature tooth loss
Natural early tooth loss isn’t always a problem, but if neglected it can become an issue. If a molar is lost early the remaining baby teeth may move into this space, it is important to watch this as spacing may be affected in the mouth when adult teeth come through. It is best to continue visiting your child’s dentist for up to date dental care during this time.

5.Gum disease
It is important to look after our children’s gums as our gums are what keep our teeth in place. Gingivitis is a gum disease that causes inflamed gums and it begins with plaque build-up. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth and gums properly will ensure good oral health and will keep away gingivitis.

Starting good dental care habits from a young age will ensure your children will maintain their teeth for a long time to come. At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that provides eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. To make a booking for your children call the Somerset Dental Team on 4648 0909.

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When should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

When should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

 

Our children should start visiting the dentist before they even have a full set of teeth! It seems a little odd considering they have little teeth; however our teeth are one of the first things we develop in the womb. Our teeth are there even before we see them.

The best time

The best time to bring children in for their first dental care appointment is by their first birthday and regular appointments should start from between two and four years. First dental care visits are about getting your children used to the dentist and the dental chair. We show them a toothbrush and show you and your children how they can start using it. A child’s first dental care visit is as much for the parents benefit as it is for the children.

Prevention

It’s important to visit the dentist from such an early age because as soon as we have any teeth we are at risk of contracting tooth decay. Dental care is all about prevention and as they say prevention is better than cure. At Somerset Dental care we recommend you and your children have your teeth cleaned every six months. Combined with a dental x-ray every two years, check-ups ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided.

Dentists are ‘scary’

Dentists have the age old stigma of being ‘scary’; this is because people have had a negative dental care experience. As a result, people avoid visiting the dentist due to their bad experiences. The longer we leave our dental care appointment, the more chance there is for a build-up of dental care issues, such as tooth filling, root canal, tooth extraction and more.

We want to prevent your children having such a negative experience from the get go. Going to the dentist every six months for teeth cleaning is said to prevent tooth decay tenfold. Many people who have had regular check-ups from an early age have still avoided having a tooth filling to this day. By going to the dentist regularly and from an early age, the dentist will be a very positive experience.

Baby teeth are important too

It is just as important for children to visit the dentist for baby teeth as adult teeth. Problems and tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to serious oral issues for adult teeth, which is why it is important to visit a dentist for dental care from an early age. Children with tooth decay in baby teeth will either require tooth extraction or tooth filling and this can be an unnerving experience. Just by having a regular teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment this can be very easily avoided.

At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that allows eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. If you are unsure whether your child may be eligible or unsure when is the best time to bring in your children for an appointment, call the Somerset Dental Team today on 4648 0909.

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Taking Care of Your Oral Health While Pregnant

Taking Care of Your Oral Health While Pregnant

Congratulations – you’re having a baby! Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but it also means you need to give your teeth, mouth and gums a little extra attention in order to keep both yourself and your baby safe.

Why is Oral Health So Important During Pregnancy?

Good oral health is important all of the time. But when you’re pregnant, keeping your mouth healthy is essential for both you and your baby.

  • Bad bacteria from an unhealthy mouth can pass on to your baby, meaning that they might also experience tooth decay problems in the future
  • Diseases like gingivitis and other gum ailments can harm the development of your baby if they become severe
  • Staying healthy yourself during your pregnancy is important – and it also means you can enjoy your pregnancy much more!

Pregnancy Problems That Can Affect Your Oral Health

1. Morning Sickness (Vomiting) & Acid Reflux

Morning sickness is a very common pregnancy ailment and the acid from your stomach can contribute to enamel erosion. If you do experience vomiting or acid reflux, you should:

  • Wash your mouth out straight away; water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda is a good rinse
  • Spread a small amount of toothpaste over your teeth or use an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash to help strengthen enamel
  • Chew sugar-free gum to help produce saliva and combat acid
  • Avoid brushing your teeth for half an hour; brushing too soon can wear away the enamel on your teeth

2. Hormone Changes & Gingivitis

Changes in your hormones during pregnancy can also make your more susceptible to gum diseases like gingivitis. Gingivitis must be identified and treated early on to prevent the disease from harming your baby’s development in the womb.

Common signs of gingivitis and gum disease include: Swollen/red gums, bleeding gums, sore gums, bad breath.

If you experience any of these, you should visit your dentist immediately and ensure you are carrying out good oral health practices.

3. Sugary Cravings

Sugary cravings during pregnancy are also very common, but you should try to eat a balanced diet and only snack on foods that are low in sugar. Natural foods that contain sugar – like fruits and yoghurts – can also help you satisfy your cravings.
If you consume foods that are rich in sugar, make sure you brush your teeth after you finish eating.

4. Gagging & Retching

You may feel like gagging or retching when brushing your teeth while pregnant. This is normal and you can alleviate the problem by:

  • Trying a different toothpaste
  • Changing to a smaller toothbrush (e.g. a kid’s toothbrush) that easily fits inside your mouth
  • Brushing more slowly
  • Closing your eyes while brushing and focusing on your breathing

General Pregnancy Tips for Good Oral Health

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss at least once per day (usually at night)
  • If you need to use a mouthwash, make sure it contains fluoride
  • Consume foods that are rich in calcium, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, dark leafy vegetables, almonds and brazil nuts
  • Drink lots of water

When to Visit Your Dentist

  • If you are trying to become pregnant, it is a good idea to visit your dentist beforehand so that any oral problems can be treated straight away. Tell your dentist that you are planning to conceive and ask him/her for oral health advice
  • If you are thinking of undergoing any cosmetic treatments (like teeth whitening, veneers), it’s a good idea to get these done before you fall pregnant as well
  • When you become pregnant or if you are already pregnant, you should organise to visit your dentist during your second trimester, which will usually be after your morning sickness/acid reflux has passed. Dental treatments are safe during pregnancy

Looking for a great dentist to care for you during your pregnancy?

At Somerset Dental Care, our priority is to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible during your dental treatments. Contact us today to book your appointment!

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