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:
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.
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.
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.
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 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/heres-what-it-was-discover-laughing-gas-180950289/)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
As we age, we tend to see a decline in our oral health, but many of these oral health issues are not related to ageing. Instead, they’re often caused by the culmination of oral health problems over time. This means that with the right oral care when we’re younger, we can prevent oral health issues when we’re older!
Getting older takes its toll on our oral health. Cases of dental decay, gum disease, missing teeth, and so forth all increase as we age. And it makes sense: as we expose our teeth to more wear and tear, the protective elements of our mouth such as your tooth’s enamel and gum line naturally wear away. However, if you can keep your teeth in good condition when you’re young, you’re much more likely to avoid a plethora of dental issues when you’re older.
Investing in your oral health while young is important for your health as you age, especially if recommended oral care such as brushing or flossing becomes difficult in old age. It’s not uncommon that older adults require help with their oral care, or an oral care plan from a dentist.
Our team at Somerset Dental can help with your oral health as you age. We’re experts in preventative and restorative dental treatments, and can aid you in ensuring that your oral health doesn’t suffer from age. Contact Somerset Dental on 4648 0909 and get the advice you need today.
Gingival recession, or receding gums, is a common condition in the elderly but that doesn’t mean that age is the sole cause. There are a number of factors that can cause gum recession and potentially accelerate the age at which your gum line recedes!
When your gums recede, the part of your gums that protect your teeth wear away, revealing more of your tooth’s root. This allows gaps to develop between your teeth and gums where bacteria often build up. This can lead to severe damage to your teeth, and can lead to tooth loss it’s not treated.
There are numerous factors that attribute to your gums receding, and it’s not just ageing that can cause your gums to recede. You need to beware of the various causes of gingival recession, including:
- periodontal (gum) disease
- not brushing or flossing
- aggressive or incorrect tooth brushing method
- hormonal changes that make the gums more vulnerable
- grinding your teeth
- malocclusion (crooked teeth or misaligned bite)
- oral piercings rubbing against the gum
- a genetic predisposition to gum disease
While the elderly do suffer from gum recession more often, recession of the gum should not be dismissed as something young people need not worry about. If you can identify your gums receding early, you may be able to preserve your teeth and gums with help from your dentist!
Our team at Somerset Dental are big believers in prevention being the key to maintaining great dental health, so if you’re worried that you’re experiencing signs of gum recession such as sensitive teeth, teeth looking longer, or notches in your gum line, it may be time to ask one of our experienced dentists about your potentially receding gums. Contact Somerset Dental with your enquiry on 02 4648 0909.
Piercings are a popular way to express yourself, but beware! It’s true what they say: tongue and lip piercings can have some harmful effects on your teeth and gums. But, with the proper care and advice from your dentist, you can minimise the damage and maintain a healthy smile while still wearing your oral jewellery.
The risk of infection is a well-known concern for those with tongue and lip piercings, but many don’t realise that their oral jewellery can cause damage to your teeth and gums. This is due to the constant rubbing between your piercings and your gums and teeth.
When your piercings come into contact with your mouth, it can wear away important protective elements of your teeth and gums. Tongue or lip piercings that come into constant contact with your gums can cause gum recession. When your gum recedes, you are exposing more of your tooth’s root, which can make it easier for bacteria to build up and severely damage your tooth. Without the proper care, this can result in tooth loss!
Your teeth can also be directly affected by your piercings. The rubbing of the oral jewellery on your teeth can wear away the enamel, which is the protective tissue on your teeth that protects them from the damage of daily use. Wearing away the enamel can leave your teeth weakened, and prone to deformation. It’s not unusual for wearers of tongue and lip piercings to experience chips or cracks in their teeth.
If you’re concerned about existing or future damage that your teeth or gums may experience due to tongue or lip piercings, there are a few things that you can do.
Ensure that an experienced and trusted individual pierces your mouth. Someone who is well-known will have the experience to ensure that your piercings don’t interfere with your daily activities and oral health.
It’s also recommended that you remove the piercing when you eat, sleep, brush your teeth, and undertake strenuous activity. This will help to avoid any damage to your teeth or gums both when you use your mouth the most, and when you have little control over the contact between your gums, teeth, and piercings.
If you wear or are considering wearing oral piercings, it’s important that you take your oral health into account. Our dentists at Somerset Dental are highly trained and committed to providing you the very best advice and service in dental care, and can help you with your concerns. Contact Somerset Dental and get quality dental advice today!