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Back Tooth School

Back Tooth School

We would like to wish all those going back to school the best for 2018.

If you have a little one going to school for the first time, take plenty of tissues. You’re going to need them.

And when their teeth start to outgrow them, Somerset Dental will be there. Speak to the dedicated team at Somerset Dental Care about pediatric dentistry, and how to monitor their teeth making sure they grow big and strong.




Well, 2017 is officially in the past and we are powering through the beginning of 2018. As you will no doubt have a list of resolutions for the year ahead, we would like you to add one more to that list, and that is ‘have great oral hygiene’.

So what are some of the steps you need to take this New Year, and continue throughout the year, in order to at least achieve this New Year’s resolution?


DENTAL X-RAYS: Myths and Benefits

DENTAL X-RAYS: Myths and Benefits

At Somerset Dental Care, we like to ensure that every patient has access to the very best equipment and procedures in order to ensure they are getting the best dental care possible.

One procedure we have found to be of the utmost importance is dental X-rays.  Dental X-rays provide valuable information about a patient’s oral health including both teeth and gums. X-rays enable us to detect dental problems at an early stage, saving you time, unnecessary discomfort and money.

The longer a problem goes on, the more work will be required.


Brushing techniques: just in case you forgot

Brushing techniques: just in case you forgot

When it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene, there are many steps and processes you can use to do so; flossing, mouthwash, specialised diet, etc. However, one of the most effective, and widely used methods for ensuring high quality oral hygiene is brushing.

Yet, what is not known to many is there are a variety of methods you can use to make sure your brushing is more effective at cleaning your teeth, and removing tartar and plaque build-up. Not to mention food that has been caught in the gaps between your teeth.

We are going to cover four different, yet most commonly used methods, for brushing your teeth in a more effective manner.

Stillman’s Brushing Method.

With this method the aim is to remove plaque from above the gum line, and is also good for patients with gingivitis.

Technique: angle the bristles at 45 degrees toward the gum line. The bristles should be half on the gums and half on the tooth’s surface. By making short, light horizontal movements, the plaque is removed from above the gum line. The motion helps to remove plaque and stimulate the gums, and is great for targeting small groups of teeth effectively. Once you have finished with a set of teeth, move to the next and repeat.

Bass (Sulcular) Brushing Method.

The aim with this method is to remove plaque from below the gum line and is the preferred method for patients with periodontitis.

Technique: hold bristles at 45 degree angle towards gum line. Slight pressure and vibratory motions will make sure the bristles go slightly beneath the gum line, which maximizes the extraction and removal of bacteria. Once again, only small groups of teeth can be done at any one time.

**The Stillman and Bass methods can be ‘modified’ by gently sweeping bristles away from the gums. **

Charter’s Brushing Method.

Best for people with orthodontic braces.

Technique: position the bristles at a 45 degree angle, and direct them so they remove plaque from the brackets and arch wire. Then change direction so the bristles remove plaque from below the brackets and arch wire. This will ensure all plaque is removed from the surfaces of the braces.

Circular Brushing Method.

This is the one we were all taught as children, and definitely one of the most used methods.

Technique: One of the easiest around, with the bristles held at a 45 degree angle toward the gum line, make small, light circular shaped brush strokes that overlap each tooth surface. Maintain this until all teeth have been cleaned.

Even given the extra benefits all the above methods provide, it is still recommended that you continue to brush the chewing surfaces, as well as the back of the bottom and front teeth, and tongue, by lightly scrubbing up and down. Also, remember to use a soft bristled brush. It’s also recommended that you ask your dentist about what method would best suit you.

So the next time you are at Somerset Dental Care for a check-up, ask one of our friendly doctors and they will be more than happy to advise you on the best method to suit your needs.


Are store bought juices and smoothies good for your teeth?

Are store bought juices and smoothies good for your teeth?

When it comes to trying to eat healthy, most people will do their best to avoid carbs and noticeable sugars, which is a good thing. Most of the time this can be done by making food and drink yourself at home and taking it with you. But this is not always possible.

It’s easy to look at juice bars, with all their fresh fruit and wheatgrass in the window, and think you’ve hit the healthy heaven jackpot. But this is not always the case. In some cases, it has been told that some smoothies and juices contain more sugar than a can of Coke.

An article published by The Guardian in 2016, found the epidemic of English children requiring major dental surgery directly relates to sugary foods and drinks. Professor Simon Capewell (department of public health and policy at the University of Liverpool) states:

“There is often a health halo – some claim about vitamin C or ‘packed full of fruit’. There are no restrictions around the words industry can use in their marketing. They can claim or imply quite a lot. Then we end up with more than a third of these drinks having more sugar in them than a cola or fizzy drink.”

In a paper co-authored by Prof Simon Capewell, researchers analysed 203 fruit juices, fruit drinks and smoothies stocked by seven major supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, the Co-op and Morrisons. They found almost half contained a child’s entire recommended daily intake of sugar, which is a maximum of 19g or nearly five teaspoons.

They looked for added sugar or naturally occurring sugars in the juices and smoothies. The average sugar content was 7g per 100ml, but in fruit juices and smoothies, it was significantly higher. Among the 21 fruit juices analysed, it averaged 10.7g per 100ml and among the 24 smoothies, it averaged 13g per 100ml[1].

While still not good, the sugar content in smoothies and juices appear to have come down when compared to a few years ago. In an article for the UK Telegraph, back in 2014, they stated:

“Some fruit juices and smoothies contain four times the amount of sugar the World Health Organisation recommends an average person should consume in a day, a Telegraph analysis shows.

A survey of 50 products from supermarkets, coffee shops and food outlets found that more than half contained at least six teaspoons of sugar, which is the recommended daily limit.

Two of the items — large fruit drinks from Costa, the coffee-shop chain — contained at least 23 teaspoons in a single serving.”[2]

Therefore, if you are consuming large quantities of store bought smoothies, juices and fruit drinks, the chances of your teeth decaying, or developing some kind of problem, is raised significantly. The best choice will always be homemade juices and smoothies, but having one ever-so-often is ok.

Just remember to keep up a healthy oral hygiene regime, and if you have any questions, or concerns, always contact your dentist and book an appointment for a check-up.

Somerset Dental Care is open Monday to Saturday, 9:00am – 5:30pm on weekdays, and 9:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday. We can be reached on 1300 707 046, or you can request an appointment using our online form.





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.