It is common knowledge that there are a substantial number of drinks on the market that are highly damaging to general dental health. What can be surprising to some however, the far-reaching consequences that over-indulging on these can have not only on your teeth but your entire life.
So how does a drink end up damaging your teeth? There are two key areas; tooth decay caused by sugar, and dental erosion caused by acidity.
Tooth decay is predominantly caused by the bacteria that forms in plaque, leaving a damaging layer over your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque layer are essentially being super charged by feeding 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.
Dental erosion is caused by the high acidity levels found directly in some drinks and foods. The acidic levels found in these products dangerously drops the pH level in your mouth, causing your natural erosion defences to be weakened. Erosion attacks the tooth even more aggressively than decay, essentially dissolving the protective enamel crystals and exposing the tooth to further damage.
A perfect storm of degeneration happens when the worst offending drinks contain a mixture of both sugar and a high acidity level. Consumption of such drinks can rapidly increase the risk of painful dental issues, leading to the need for extensive, as well as avoidable, dental work.
The Cancer Council of Victoria have released a list of the most sugary drinks currently on the market, showing how our common beverage choices are fuelling the current epidemic of tooth decay in Australia.
||Grams of sugar (per serve)
||Grams of sugar (per 100ml)
|V Energy Drink
|Gatorade: Fierce Grape flavour
|Powerade: Mountain Blast flavour
|Spring Valley Smart Water: Armour flavour
|Vitamin Water: Essential flavour
|Lipton Ice Tea: Peach flavour
Damage to your teeth affects much more than the obvious visual aspects of your health. Any damage to your smile impacts on the way you present yourself to world and your overall self-confidence. Keeping your teeth healthy and protected from damage will help ensure that you never feel uncomfortable to smile.
By limiting your exposure to degenerative drinks as well as committing to a dedicated and consistent oral hygiene routine, you can significantly improve the protection of your teeth. Somerset Dental can effectively advise you on the best drinks to consume in order to avoid these issues. Luckily, we can also provide comprehensive treatments and oral hygiene plans to help combat any existing signs of tooth decay or dental erosion.
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.
Preventative dental health is one of the most important elements of general dentistry, many problems can be prevented altogether with some simple steps put into place.
A regular check up by Somerset Dental, Narellan, will help identify concerns or potential areas of concern and implement treatments that can stop them before a larger problem where more invasive dental procedures may need to be used to treat the problem.
Regular professional teeth cleaning removes hardened deposits (tartar) that cannot be removed at home. Tartar causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Cleaning also includes a polish to remove superficial stains and a fluoride application to strengthen teeth.
Though we get fluoride from our food and water, we often don’t get enough to totally prevent tooth decay. Fluoride treatment at your dentists’ can actually reverse the effects of acid attacks on your teeth.
The fluoride treatments at Somerset Dental are a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouth rinses that may be available and provide an extra layer of protection against decay.
Dental X-rays provide valuable information about your oral health, both teeth and gums. X-rays are another tool that helps us detect dental problems at an early stage to save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort.
At Somerset Dental Care, we recommend you book a check-up and have your teeth cleaned every six months. Combined with an x-ray every two years, check-ups ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided.
Since the 1960’s and 1970’s, the majority of Australian drinking water were fluoridated, a program where the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water in increased to strengthen teeth against tooth decay, resulting in healthier teeth and dental health. Flouiride is so important to achieving dental health that in fact the US Centers for Disease Control state that the, “Fluoridation of drinking water…one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century”.
As well as drinking fluoridated water and always using fluoride toothpaste, fluoride treatment at Somerset Dental, Narellan can actually reverse the effects of acid attacks on your teeth. A dental fluoride treatment can help to strengthen the structure of the tooth by ‘remineralising’ it, so that the damage is repaired and the tooth becomes more resistant to acid.
After your dental fluoride treatment and between dental visits, there are things you can be doing at home to maximise the long lasting benefits of your fluoride treatment.
- Brushing your teeth right – Brushing your teeth, twice a day for 2-3 minutes each time is important to keep your mouth clean, fresh and healthy.
- Using fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste. While most toothpastes on the market include fluoride, some natural toothpastes do not. Check the ingredients list on your toothpaste if you are unsure.
- Flossing – Cleaning between your teeth with floss prevents small pieces of food from becoming lodged and decaying the surrounding teeth
- Diet – What you eat and drink have a large impact on the health of your teeth. A well balanced diet is good for your general health as well as your dental health.
Dental fluoride treatments are highly recommended to extend the protection of fluoride you are already getting from drinking water. Dental fluoride treatments are recommended as part of your regular dental hygiene and should be scheduled for every 6-months.
Our team at Somerset Dental can help with your oral health. Contact Somerset Dental on 4648 0909 and get the advice you need today.
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!
Isn’t it better to know that you have bad breath, rather than be told that you have bad breath? There are a few ways to test the smell of your breath, and a few things that you can do about bad breath if you have it.
Testing Your Breath
- The Wrist Test – This is a tried and true breath tester. Simply lick the inside of your wrist, let it dry for more than five seconds, and smell it. This is an indicator of how your breath smells to others
- Bad Taste – Is there a bad taste in your mouth? If there is, your breath could be off-putting to others.
- Your Tongue – There are two ways to test your breath with your tongue. The first is to stand in front of a mirror and stick out your tongue as far as you can. If there is a white-coloured film on your tongue, you may have bad breath due to the bacteria that lingers on that film. Another way of testing the bacteria on your tongue is to get a spoon and gently scrape the back of your tongue. If there is a whitish coating, your breath will most likely smell bad.
- Ask! – Ask someone that you trust for an honest assessment of your breath’s smell. It’s better to be told by someone you trust rather than tonight’s date!
These are at-home tests that you can use before that big job interview or that first date. However, the most accurate measure of the smell of your breath is a halimeter test. A halimeter is a dental instrument that tests your breath and saliva for the concentration of sulphide in your breath, and is the most honest way to test your breath’s smell.
What Can You Do?
- Brush Twice A Day – Brushing twice a day can really help to remove that bad odour from your breath, but don’t forget to brush your tongue too!
- Floss Daily – Flossing is a must. Flossing helps remove those foods that get stuck between your teeth, and helps you to avoid periodontal disease, which is a common cause of bad breath.
- Drink Water – A dry mouth can cause bad breath, so it’s important to keep the liquid intake high
You should also see your dentist every six months for an oral exam and teeth cleaning. They will be able to identify any issues with your oral health that may lead to bad breath, and prevent it before it becomes a problem.
At Somerset Dental, our dentists are committed to ensuring that your dental health goals are met, and that includes the smell of your breath. Contact Somerset Dental for great dental care today!
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.
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.
We all know that flossing and brushing twice a day is essential for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. But what about mouthwash? Should it be a necessary part of your daily oral hygiene routine?
1. Mouthwash Basics
Mouthwashes are generally antiseptic rinses that are used to decrease the microbial load in your mouth and reduce bacteria and plaque.
The main purpose of mouthwash is to freshen your breath (not to clean your teeth) and help prevent cavities.
It is important to note that mouthwash should not be seen as a replacement for brushing and flossing. Mouthwash should only be used as a follow-up to brushing and flossing twice daily.
2. Types of Mouthwash
- Antiseptic Mouthwash: Antiseptic mouthwashes will almost always contain alcohol, which works to kill the bacteria and plaque building up in your mouth (these can also cause bad breath and lead to gum diseases)
- Alcohol-Free Mouthwash: Alcohol-free mouthwashes are ideal for those with sensitive mouths or those who don’t want to include alcohol as part of their daily dental routines. Alcohol-free rinses are also recommended for children and teenagers who may be prone to swallowing the rinse, instead of spitting it out
- Fluoride Mouthwash: Most mouthwashes contain fluoride, which is beneficial for protecting your teeth against acids and strengthening enamel. If you do need to use a mouthwash, a fluoride one is highly recommended
3. Do You Really Need Mouthwash?
It isn’t necessary to use mouthwash every day as part of your oral hygiene routine. Like any other type of medication, using mouthwash should be advised by your dentist.
While brushing and flossing is vital, mouthwash should only be used to combat a specific dental problem or need that you might be facing – such as bad breath, infections and gingivitis.
Your dentist will advise you if or when you need to use a mouthwash and what type of mouthwash will be most suitable.
4. Should I Spit or Swallow the Mouthwash?
If your dentist has advised you to use mouthwash, you should spit it out after each rinse. Swallowing excessive amounts of mouthwash, especially those that contain alcohol, can be harmful.
5. Mouthwashes & Other Diseases?
Some studies have claimed that there is a link between using alcohol-containing mouthwashes and diseases, like mouth cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.
While some individuals (like smokers or drinkers) may be more susceptible to these diseases than others, these studies are largely inconclusive and don’t really prove that mouthwash is the cause of these illnesses. As always, you should use mouthwash as advised by your dentist.
Are you on top of your dental routine? Come in and visit our friendly dentists at Narellan. We’re open 6 days a week! Inquire Now