All Posts tagged tooth decay

How Dieting Can Affect Your Teeth

How Dieting Can Affect Your Teeth

What you eat and drink directly affects the health of your teeth. The quality and consistency of foods, their nutritional composition, and the combinations in which they are eaten all have an effect on your oral health.

Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation which will help protect teeth and gums.

Foods rich in calcium such as cheese and milk help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk of tooth loss from decay while crisp fruits and raw vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and celery actually clean plaque from teeth and can freshen your breath.

Antioxidant rich vitamins such as Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables will help protect your gum from bacterial infections and folic acid such as what is found in green leafy vegetables will promote a healthy mouth.

Crash dieting and yo-yo dieting can seriously affect the health of your teeth. Restrictive diets make the body more vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies, such as D, B-12 and calcium, not to mention certain minerals and proteins that are missing from strict diets.

A well-balanced diet is characterised by moderation and variety. If you are dieting choose a healthy diet that includes foods from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products and meat, chicken, fish or beans. Avoid fad diets that limit or eliminate entire food groups, which usually result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Drinking plenty of water helps to clean the mouth of acids and food stuffs that accelerate tooth decay.

Dentally healthy snacks include nuts, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese and sugarless gum or lollies.

The dental team at Somerset Dental can advise you how your nutrition and diet may affect your oral health, contact us today.

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The Hard Facts About Fluoride. Is It Safe?

The Hard Facts About Fluoride. Is It Safe?

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.”[1]

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.



[1] http://www.who.int/oral_health/events/oral%20healthc.pdf

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5 common dental problems in children

5 common dental problems in children

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem and is described as the most common ‘disease’ in Australians. The largest group of tooth decay sufferers are children. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA) 11 million newly decayed teeth develop each year!

Tooth decay is not the only dental problem children suffer, but it is the most common. Children’s dental problems attribute to 600,000 lost school days a year and the number is only growing (ADA). So what are other common dental problems in children? See the list below.

1.Tooth Decay
As already mentioned, tooth decay is the most common dental problem in children. Scarily one in two 12 year olds has decay in their permanent teeth (AIHW). This is due to a lack of good dental care, caused by brushing teeth irregularly, children not seeing a dentist in earlier years and overall diet.

2.Not visiting the dentist
In 2012 just over 1 in 4 children between 2-4years old visited the dentist (AIHW). Missing out on dental services from an early age sets a bad dental standard for life. Prevention is key to optimum oral health, a good teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment protects your teeth until your next six monthly appointment and means less likelihood of needing a tooth filling in the future.

3.Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is pretty normal for young children, however when thumb sucking continues past toddlerhood and when permanent teeth are coming through, it is a cause for concern. Thumb sucking can lead to teeth being pushed out of alignment and can cause an overbite. Prevent your children from thumb sucking and you can prevent your children needing braces.

4.Premature tooth loss
Natural early tooth loss isn’t always a problem, but if neglected it can become an issue. If a molar is lost early the remaining baby teeth may move into this space, it is important to watch this as spacing may be affected in the mouth when adult teeth come through. It is best to continue visiting your child’s dentist for up to date dental care during this time.

5.Gum disease
It is important to look after our children’s gums as our gums are what keep our teeth in place. Gingivitis is a gum disease that causes inflamed gums and it begins with plaque build-up. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth and gums properly will ensure good oral health and will keep away gingivitis.

Starting good dental care habits from a young age will ensure your children will maintain their teeth for a long time to come. At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that provides eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. To make a booking for your children call the Somerset Dental Team on 4648 0909.

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7 Common Dental Problems You Should Know

7  Common Dental Problems You Should Know

You wouldn’t think so, but your teeth, gums and mouth can be complicated things. Learning to recognise common teeth and gum problems is essential in managing your oral health and preventing everyday problems from developing into more serious issues.

1. Teeth Decay/Erosion

Did you know that, according to the Australian Dental Association, tooth decay is one of Australia’s most common dental problems? The two main culprits behind tooth decay are poor oral hygiene and the consumption of too many sugary foods. To prevent decay, make sure you brush twice daily and avoid eating sugar or starch-based foods between meals. Dentist checkups and cleans every 4-6 months are also essential!

2. Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common dental issue and can be caused by issues like cavities, gum disease, dry mouth and poor oral care. If you suffer from bad breath, a trip to your local family dentist is in need; they will be able to diagnose the root of the problem and advise you on the best treatment moving forward.

3. Sensitivity

Those sharp pains you feel when you eat something hot or cold are usually an indication of tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity is a standard dental problem, especially among adults, but it can be easily treated. Changing toothpaste and topping up on fluoride are common remedies, however more serious sensitivity problems may call for a gum or root canal treatment.

4. Discolouration

Are your teeth yellow, grey or stained? Teeth discolouration can occur as a result of the food we eat, but is also related to poor oral hygiene and smoking. Brushing and flossing, as well as regular checkups and cleans, will help prevent discolouration. If your teeth are heavily stained, you can also choose a teeth whitening or teeth bleaching treatment to restore your clean, white smile!

5. Wisdom Pain

Wisdom teeth are those annoying back molars that can cause impaction or overcrowding in the mouth. They usually come through in your late teens or early twenties. If you sense pain in your back gums, jaw or lymph glands, a wisdom teeth extraction may be in need.

6. Mouth Sores

Mouth sores can be irritating and uncomfortable, but are also considered common dental problems. Topical treatments are usually available at your local pharmacy, however, if your mouth sore persists for more than two weeks, make sure you visit your family dentist as soon as possible, as it could be a sign of something more serious.

7. Gum Disease

Gum disease generally occurs in two stages: gingivitis (first) and periodontitis (second). The main signs of gum disease include bleeding or swollen gums, changes in gum appearance, pus between the gums, loose teeth and mouth sores. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see your dentist immediately to work out the most ideal treatment for your gum problems.

Have you got a common dental problem that you’re not sure about? Somerset Dental Care is an experienced, friendly dentist based in the Macarthur, Camden and Wollondilly area. Contact us to book an appointment today or email [email protected]

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