News & Tips from Somerset Dental

Get the latest news and up-to-date tips in oral care from Somerset Dental's dentistry team.

Is sparkling water bad for my teeth?

Is sparkling water bad for my teeth?

We have written a lot about the disastrous things that sugar-filled fizzy drinks can do to your teeth, but one of the lesser investigated beverages we all love is sparkling or carbonated water. Brands like Schweppes, Perrier, San Pellegrino and Voss all offer sparkling or carbonated water drinks. The bubbly concoctions are a refreshing substitute to their sweet flavoured brethren and provide a satisfying thirst quench – but are they bad for your teeth?

Unfortunately, the beloved drink does have a downfall.

Carbonated water, sometimes known as Seltzer Water, is made by dissolving carbon dioxide gas into water using pressure. One of the ingredients in carbon dioxide gas is called Carbonic Acid and can wear gradually at the enamel of your teeth. The good news is that because it is not coupled with other acids such as citric acid and the ever-present sugars of other fizzy drinks, it is not as damaging.

Without the flavourings found in other soft drinks, carbonated water has a relatively neutral pH level. This gives an easy to understand comparison.

Drink P h Level
Water 7.0 (neutral)
Carbonated Water 5.5
Coke 2.5

That said, it is best to enjoy a soda water during meal time, steering clear of the bubbly stuff in between and sticking to the safety of plain water. When you consume drinks with acidic qualities they damage and corrode the enamel of your teeth removing the minerals, ultimately weakening them.

At Somerset Dental we often use the F-word for any questions like these – Frequency. Provided you aren’t guzzling liters of carbonated water a day for years on end, then the impact is likely to be very minimal. If you simply can’t imagine your life without a bottle of soda water somewhere, try using a straw positioned in the middle of your tongue so that the liquid doesn’t come in to contact with your teeth.

If you are concerned about the amount of soda water or carbonated beverages you drink and the affect they may have on your teeth, organise an appointment with one of our Somerset Dental Care dentists on 1300 707 046.


Is exercising bad for my teeth?

Is exercising bad for my teeth?

Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity, approximately half an hour a day, has been proven time and time again to positively benefit not just our bodies, but also our minds. At Somerset Dental, we believe in a holistic approach to oral hygiene, encouraging our patients to live healthy, well-rounded lives. You can imagine our surprise then, when we stumbled upon an article and study that suggested that exercising could be bad for your oral health!

The study was performed at the 2012 London Olympics, taking a cross-sectional study of 278 athletes in 25 sports. The resulting data was not what dentist’s dreams are made of, with 55% of the athletes showing signs of dental caries, 45% with dental erosion and a whopping 76% with gingivitis!

The athletes themselves were aware that the impediments on their health were effecting their performance, with 28% reporting an impact on their quality of life and 18% on their training.

So, is exercise good or bad for my teeth?

Well, following the results of the above study, a University in Germany conducted an experiment with a control group and a group of around 35 athletes. The scientists then had the athletes take part in an intensive work out for 35 minutes, taking saliva samples several times throughout.

What they discovered was that during the workout, the athlete’s mouths grew drier, despite the fact they were drinking water regularly. What’s more is that the chemical composition of the saliva also changed, becoming more alkaline. Excessive alkalinity in saliva has been shown to contribute to tartar plaques on teeth amongst other problems.

But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that if you like to go for a jog your teeth are going have holes in them. In both studies, the athletes were exactly that, athletes. They were training more than 9 hours a week, taking part in intensive workouts.

The recommended amount of daily exercise is 30 minutes per day and that can be across a range of activities.

To sum it up… No, regular physical exercise will not have an adverse effect on your oral hygiene – unless you are training at an elite level. In any case, we’d recommend a regular checkup, lots of hydration and a strict brushing and flossing regime. So why not contact the team at Somerset Dental Care today on 1300 707 046 for your next checkup.



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.




Does smiling make you happier?

Does smiling make you happier?

There is a myth that the number of muscles used when smiling is far less than when you frown. The take away being that you should smile more. Whilst we agree that everyone should smile more, the science behind that statement isn’t exactly proven. This is because different people have different numbers of muscles in their face, as well as completely different ways of a smiling. One person’s smile might be another’s smirk.

So, the amount of physical effort that goes in to smiling might not be enough to get you grinning more, but what if flashing your pearly whites could have an impact on your mental health? In 1872, the idea that facial expressions play an important role in prompting the feelings that accompany it was proposed by Charles Darwin.

During the 1970s and 80s, psychologists conducted a significant amount of research into the effects of a ‘fake smile’, with surprising consistent results. One of the most notable studies by a psychologist named Dr. Robert Zajonc asked participants to make various facial expressions. Some involved elongating the letter ‘e’ and others the letter ‘u’. Some asked participants to bite pens and so on.

Dr. Zajonc contended that the various movements of the face caused changes in temperature of blood on its way to the brain. Basically, the theory stated that cool blood helped happy feelings (smiling) and warmer blood push angrier feels (frowning).

Many psychologists have since tried to debunk the theory, however a recent study into Botox® recipients at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who have had cosmetic Botox® and now cannot frown so easily are happier, on average, than people who can frown.

“It would appear that the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies that help and reinforce the feelings we’re having,” says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study in an interview with Scientific American. “It’s like a feedback loop.”

Further studies have been taken, all pointing to our facial expressions influencing our emotions. Why this might be the case is still a bit of mystery, but at this stage the reasoning to smile might just outweigh any not to.

To maintain your perfect smile contact Somerset Dental Care on 1300 707 046 and book an appointment today.


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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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


  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.


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.


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.


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.