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Say hi to Danielle

Say hi to Danielle

You might have noticed some new faces at Somerset Dental Care during your recent visit. Over the coming months we’ll endeavour to introduce you to the new members of the team.

Danielle Mewburn is our new Dental Assistant/Front Office Co-ordinator. We’d like you to join us in welcoming Danielle to the team and make sure you say high next time you’re in. To learn a little more about Danielle you can read her profile.




As a kid, fillings always seemed to be the concern of those older than us, not something we thought we would ever have to worry about. Every so often you would catch a glimpse of a silver/grey patch on the underside of an adult’s teeth. However, in some parts of the world, fillings aren’t always adult problems.  In fact, 12% of England’s three-year-olds, already suffer from tooth decay, and are future candidates for fillings[1].

While anyone who has teeth is at risk of getting cavities, certain factors can increase the likelihood of them forming. Of course, some things are naturally going to cause cavities, like eating and drinking too much sugar or continually grazing throughout the day. Continual eating stops your teeth from getting a rest from plaque destroying saliva.

Did you know a tooth’s location can also be a contributing factor in developing decay? Decay most often occurs in teeth at the back of your mouth (molars and premolars). This is because these teeth have lots of grooves, pits, crannies and multiple roots that can collect food particles. This means they are harder to clean, which can result in the speed up of decay.

A dry mouth can also be a problem. Low levels of saliva mean lower levels of the plaque fighting substances that fight off decay.

Another situation that shares a common theme is heartburn. Heartburn relates to stomach acid (reflux), flowing back in to your mouth, which causes damage due to the acid wearing away the enamel on your teeth.

If your teeth are feeling a little more sensitive than usual, or you have old silver and gold fillings but are after a more natural look, contact us on 1300 707 046, or jump online and make an appointment using our online form.







With Halloween fast approaching you would think we might warn you about the dangers of too many lollies, and the effects the sugar will have on your teeth and gums. Instead, we just thought we would let you know of a really interesting statistic.

Did you know that Australia was ranked 10th in the world, in 2016, in consuming the most lollies per capita? According to the statistics, each person in Australia consumes 8.98kg of lollies each year[1].

We are not harbouring any illusions you will abstain from the sweet, sugary nectar of lollies, soft drinks and chocolate, post pirate-like raids on neighbour’s houses after trick-or-treating, that would be futile. Instead, we are going to offer some handy tips on how to help your teeth recover after your binge.

The first step is to prepare.

Make sure you have all the essentials to clean away all that sugar coating from your teeth, gums and mouth. Things you’ll need:

  • Floss: to remove captured lolly fragments from between your teeth.
  • Mouthwash: ideal for not just giving you minty fresh breath, but also killing bacteria and germs.
  • Soft/Medium Bristle Toothbrush: given the beating your teeth are going to get, it’s best to get a brush that isn’t going to do further damage.
  • Toothpaste: this obviously needs no explanation. It’s best to have something that provides cavity protection, and protects against sensitivity.

Now, we are not suggesting a marathon cleaning, just more of a staggered cleanse. Those who consider dental hygiene as important as garlic is to a vampire hunter may feel the need to brush after every few handfuls of lollies or chocolate, it’s actually not necessary and could do more harm than good. Why?

Some foods soften the enamel on your fangs, and if you brush directly after, you may risk hurting the enamel further. That’s why it’s best to let your fangs rest for about 30 minutes before brushing.

But if you feel the sugary after effects are too much to bear, simply rinse with water.

When you reach the point where you think you have to do something about it, just have a couple of glasses of water to rinse your mouth. It will remove some of the sugar and when the time comes, you can brush the rest away.

We understand that dental hygiene may not be a priority in your plans for Halloween, however, we also understand there is a good chance the phrase “why do my teeth hurt?” will be uttered at some point. We just want to offer some friendly advice to avoid that.

It’s also a great time to call Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046 and book your next clean and check up to keep on top of your preventative program. Unfortunately, we don’t have any advice for sore tummies. You’re on your own with that one. Sorry.


[1] Conversion from pounds to kilograms.




The rich and famous of Hollywood always appear to have perfect smiles. Everything from their lives to their pets, hair, clothes, shoes, accessories, cars and their teeth appear perfect.

It’s almost reasonable to imagine that most Hollywood actors and actresses have had some work done on their teeth. How else would they get those perfect smiles with super straight and white teeth?

Maybe some of them took extra care of their pearly whites as they were growing up. Maybe others had a whole lot of dental work done.

We’ve put together a list of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and the dental work they’ve had done.

Tom Cruise

Like many starting out in the industry, Tom caught attention based on his talent. Once he had established himself, he looked at ways to improve his physical appearance. It is understood that what started out as basic whitening and straightening of his teeth, eventually became an upgrade to a mouthful of veneers (custom made porcelain shells placed over teeth to improve appearance).

Zac Efron

Before he shot to stardom in Disney’s High School Musical, Zac Efron’s teeth were uneven, with a noticeable gap at the front. Since those early days, he has had his teeth straightened and whitened, which has seen the gap reduced to almost nothing.

Demi Moore

Over a decade ago, actress Demi Moore’s (Ghost, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) teeth were looking a little yellowed and aged. Although she considered a number of cosmetic dentistry options, she finally settled on veneers, which provide a straight, white and natural look.

Jim Carrey

When you see an actor in a movie, you often think that their appearance is a result of make-up or special effects. This is not so with Jim Carrey’s character in Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd Christmas. The chipped front tooth was a real chip that Carrey had suffered. The funny man had it bonded (tooth-coloured resin bonded with adhesive to the tooth) over ten years ago. He is known to remove the bonding for fans from time to time.

Celine Dion

Blessed with the voice of an angel, the Canadian born singer now has the smile of one as well. Back in the 1990’s, when her career was taking off, Celine had work done to her teeth that has seen them reduce in size, as well as becoming whiter.

At Somerset Dental, we are able to help you obtain the ‘Hollywood smile’ with our Veneer and Teeth Whitening treatments.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front of your teeth. A model of your teeth will be made and sent to a dental laboratory, where a dental technician will replicate the model for your use.

When it comes to teeth whitening, Somerset Dental has a few options that you can choose from to suit your needs:

In-office Bleaching is a procedure conducted in the dental office, where a protective gel or rubber shield is placed on your gums to shield them from the dental bleach that will be applied to your teeth.

Home Bleaching is a method that uses whitening gel and a custom-fitted mouthguard to apply. Depending on your needs, some treatments may require twice-daily or overnight applications for two weeks.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste is another option that can be applied at home. While all toothpaste removes surface stains, ‘Teeth Whitening’ toothpastes have special chemicals and polishing agents to provide extra assistance with stain removal.

It’s easy to imagine that famous actors are born with perfect smiles, but just like all of us, they too need to visit a dentist. Therefore, if you are considering getting the ‘Hollywood smile’, let the team at Somerset Dental help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to schedule your consultation, and start your journey towards a brighter smile.





The team at Somerset Dental Care were super excited by the responses to our Somerset Selfie Competition. There were a variety of entries which were judged on their individual merits based on:

  • Creativity
  • Personality
  • Originality

We’re pleased to announce that Angela Mihok is the winner of the Somerset Selfie Competition with the winning photo of her daughter Amelia Mihok. Congratulations Angela (and Ameila 😉), we hope you enjoy your iPad mini.

Somerset Selfie Competition Winner

We were so impressed with the quality of entries that we’ve decided to award a commendation prize to an additional eight entries. These entrants will receive a gift card from United Cinemas Narellan. We’ll be in touch shortly to let you know if you have been chosen.

Don’t forget to keep up-to-date with all things Somerset by following us on Instagram @SomersetDental or Facebook SomersetDentalCare. Thank you to all of our patients who entered the competition.




We live in an era where taking a picture is as natural as breathing, and photography is more accessible than ever with cameras attached to almost every mobile device. The obsession of many to document every moment of our lives is such that it has birthed the term ‘selfie’ (The Chainsmokers even made a song about it).

With such a photographic society, where smiling faces flood your timeline and Instagram feed, it is almost impossible to believe there was a time when people didn’t smile for photos. But such a time did exist.

History of Smiles

An image like the one above is pretty much the standard for today. But in the early days of photography this wasn’t the case.

History of Smiles

There are a few popular theories as to why people wouldn’t smile in pictures, of which the most popular is that dental hygiene practices were almost non-existent. Much like today, it is believed that bad teeth were the reason behind the lack of smiles. However, others argue that as dental problems were quite common, it wouldn’t have been a standout problem like today.

Another theory is that long exposure times (time it takes for the shutter to open and close) stopped people from smiling. It has been said that in the very early days of photography (great advancements were made in the years following), a photograph could take up to 90 minutes to be taken, so people would strike a pose that was comfortable.

A third and interesting theory is that wide grins were often associated with undesirable qualities, such as madness or lewdness.

However, a theory that may have more substance than any other, is that early photography was guided by portraiture, where smiles were unconventional. The reason? It was believed that a portrait was expected to show the inner essence of the subject (from the artist’s point of view) or a flattering representation, not just a likeness.

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1894) stated: “The only expression allowable in great portraiture is the expression of character and moral quality, not anything temporary, fleeting, or accidental.”

No matter what the reason was behind people not smiling, we do know it didn’t last. Historians believe smiles started appearing in photographs in significant quantities around the 1920’s or 30’s.

But today smiling is widespread, and we prefer it that way. If you’re not confident enough to smile in your pictures because you’re unhappy with your teeth, and would like to have the confidence to smile more, feel free to contact us on 1300 707 046 or contact us via our website and we’ll be more than happy to help you looking your ‘selfie’ best.





Laughing Gas, or nitrous oxide for the science buffs, wasn’t invented so much as discovered in 1799 by chemist and inventor Humphry Davy. And when we say “discovered”, it’s more along the lines of “I wonder what would this do to people if it was inhaled?”

The experiments began, firstly on himself, then, after realizing it wasn’t fatal (except if taken in extremely large doses), Davy allowed others to partake in the trials.

After initially trialing it on his patients, he then started testing it on perfectly healthy people like friends and family (including the heir to a pottery empire, the future compiler of Roget’s Thesaurus and two notable poets). As a scientist, he requested that all his subjects record their experiences.

One such record of the testing is below:

“[When] I first inspired the nitrous oxide, I felt a highly pleasurable sensation of warmth over my whole frame, resembling that which I remember once to have experienced after returning from a walk in the snow into a warm room. The only motion which I felt inclined to make, was that of laughing at those who were looking at me.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge

While the effects of laughing gas on patients has not changed since 1799, the recording methods of the effects have improved greatly.

Where once a reflective, written record was the only way scientists could gain first hand insight in to the effects of treatments on their patients (apart from personal observations), we now have video.

On video sharing sites such as Youtube, there is a treasure trove of videos that parents and friends have uploaded featuring their loved ones experiencing the effects of laughing gas.

Apart from being amusing, these videos can also prepare you for the possible reaction your child may have to the effects of common anesthetic:

Best Wisdom Teeth Aftermath (Catwoman & Super Powers)
Two siblings have their wisdom teeth removed, but one has a far greater reaction to laughing gas than the other.

Jack After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Jack (the hero) shares his unique perspective on love, life and his leaking face. Along with deep questions like “who built the ocean?”

Brothers Convince Little Sister of Zombie Apocalypse
With a little forethought and planning, you too could convince a sibling or child the Zombie apocalypse has begun. Hats-off to the brothers for effort they put in to the prank, and to mum for getting involved.

While we don’t encourage you to film your children for the laughs, these videos do provide a unique insight in to the possible effects laughing gas will have on your children if they ever need it.

As with all drugs there are risks associated with misuse so it should only ever be administered by a dentist who is familiar with your medical history and knows whether laughing gas is an option. Speak to the friendly team at Somerset Dental about what the best procedure is.


5 Common Dental Problems in Children

5 Common Dental Problems in Children

Proper oral care begins during childhood. By encouraging the appropriate habits during your child’s childhood you can prevent dental complications and orthodontic treatments such as braces when they’re older. That’s why it’s important to catch common dental problems in children as early as possible – to ensure that they don’t grow into more substantial issues down the road. So, what are some of the most common dental problems faced by children?

 1. “Baby Bottle” Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay occurs when a baby’s teeth is in constant contact with sugars from foods and drinks, or when breastfed babies fall asleep with unswallowed milk in their mouth. This can cause tooth decay on your child’s baby teeth which can pause tooth pain and accelerate the pace at which the child’s baby tooth falls out which can lead to issues with the growth of permanent teeth.

2. Lack of Proper Oral Care

Life doesn’t mimic the movies, so we understand that reminding the children to brush their teeth doesn’t always get the job done. However, it’s important to instil a sense of importance regarding oral health at a young age. Ensuring that you keep to a routine when you are brushing your toddler’s teeth and encouraging that routine as they become independent enough to do so is a simple way to ensure your child picks up the right oral health habits.

3. Thumb Sucking

If your child continues to suck their thumb beyond the age of five – when their permanent teeth are due to grow – dental problems in the form of overbites, jaw misalignment, and a malformed mouth roof can occur. Speech impediments may also arise.

4. Tongue Thrusting

Tongue Thrusting is when your child swallows their food or drink by thrusting the tip of the tongue against the lips. This exerts pressure on the teeth which can cause them to misalign which creates an overbite. Much like thumb sucking, speech impediments can arise in children who tongue thrust.

5. Early Tooth Loss

The loss of baby teeth too early can cause a number of issues for the development and alignment of permanent teeth, and usually occurs due to one of the other common issues listed here. The early loss of a tooth can also occur to lack of space in the jaw or an injury from play.

These dental problems are known by dentists, and can be alieved or treated if they are found early during childhood development. For preventative tips from our expert dentists, contact Somerset Dental and receive great dental health advice that will keep you out of the dentist’s chair.


Are baby teeth really that important?

Are baby teeth really that important?

If baby teeth just fall out eventually, are they really that important? Yes, they are. Your child’s baby teeth are not only important for chewing and speaking at a young age, but also lay the foundations for your child’s future adult teeth.

Your child’s baby teeth usually appear during their third or fourth month of age, and all twenty of them often appear by the age of three. Eventually they will fall out and be replaced by your child’s permanent teeth but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to neglect them! Your child’s baby teeth are extremely important to your child’s development, and not just functionally – baby teeth can affect your child’s social development, too. So, what do baby teeth do for your child?

  • they help your child develop proper eating habits,
  • they help your child to develop proper speech,
  • they hold places in the jaw for permanent teeth to emerge.

These are all important facets of your child’s oral and social development, and the loss of a single baby tooth too soon can lead to the problematic eruption of your child’s permanent teeth which could necessitate orthodontic treatment such as braces at a later age! By ensuring your child is taking proper oral care at a young age, you can help to avoid future visits to the dentist and set the stage for a confident smile during adulthood.

Just because baby teeth will fall out doesn’t mean that proper oral care should be ignored. If it is, your child may experience complications during their teenage and adult years. For an assessment of your child’s baby teeth, contact Somerset Dental for dental care that’ll ensure your child’s smile is as confident as it can be – and kids, don’t forget to leave those baby teeth under the pillow for the tooth fairy!


10 Common Dental Myths Busted!

10 Common Dental Myths Busted!

At Somerset Dental, we understand that a trip to the dentist can be scary. That’s why our first priority is your comfort. However, this fear of oral care has led to many myths being spread regarding your dental care! That’s why we’ve collated these ten common dental myths and busted them for you, to put your mind at ease and make that trip to the dentist a little easier.

1. Fluoride Carries Health Risks

False! Since water fluoridation became commonplace, many have asserted that fluoride is a health hazard. However, almost all studies have shown that fluoride has significantly positive effects on your oral health while no study has conclusively found fluoride to carry health risks. You can find fluoride in most of your oral care products and in the water you drink as a natural ingredient.

2. Teeth Whitening Weakens the Teeth

If your teeth whitening is done according to the product instructions – at home or by your dentist – then you’ll experience no weakening of your teeth’s structure at all. Overuse of these products may cause some brief teeth sensitivity or irritation but this still is not a sign of weakened teeth.

3. Brushing With Bleeding Gums Is Bad

If your gums are bleeding, that’s a sign of plaque or food accumulating on the gum line, to which the solution is to brush to remove all that gunk! This will help lessen the irritation and inflammation on your gums. Dentists recommend you brush at a 45° with the bristles pointing towards your gums as the best method of removing this build up.

4. Brush Hard, Brush Long

This one’s often well-meaning, but you can actually be damaging your teeth if you brush too hard and for too long. Your mouth is sensitive, and overzealous brushing can grind down the tooth enamel and damage the gums. Dentists recommend brushing twice daily for two minutes each time.

5. Flossing Isn’t Important

Flossing can be a hassle, but without it you’re missing out on cleaning around a third of your tooth’s surfaces that a regular toothbrush just can’t get to!

6. Tooth Decay Is Inevitable

This is often an excuse to slack off on the oral care, but it’s simply not true. Tooth decay is preventable, and with the right oral care and help from your dentist, you can maintain your teeth for life.

7. Oral Health Doesn’t Affect My Overall Health

Nope! Research has shown that there may be a correlation between your oral health and the state of your heart, meaning that proper dental hygiene is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

8. Mouthwash Can Replace Brushing

Unfortunately, mouthwash can’t replace the mechanical action of brushing and flossing. Mouthwash can help remove that surface layer of bacteria, but it won’t remove that bacteria caught in the biofilm that is formed on your teeth.

9. It’s Too Late for Braces

Thanks to advancements in dentistry and orthodontics, it’s not too late for braces. Products such as Invisalign allow adults to use almost invisible braces and smile with confidence as their teeth are realigned.

10. White Teeth Are Happy Teeth

Whiter teeth may look good, but that’s only cosmetic. Your teeth may still have some oral health issues that need to be addressed for the sake of your overall health. The best way to assess this is to visit your local dentist.

Our team at Somerset Dental can help with your oral health. We’re experts in preventative and restorative dental treatments, and can aid you in ensuring that your oral health doesn’t suffer from the listed myths! Contact Somerset Dental on 4648 0909 and get the advice you need today.