Why does my dentist recommend chewing gum after eating?

Saliva [also known as “spit”] is amazing. Yes, I’m a dentist so I’m weird and say things like that but it really IS amazing. It contains a whole host of stuff that will maintain your mouth at its resting pH [acidity]. When we eat, our mouths inevitably end up being acidic and that’s when your teeth can start to demineralise or decay. Your saliva will lower your mouth pH to normal levels [make less acidic] as long as there’s nothing wrong with your saliva flow – more about that later.

 

So…eat drink chew…by chewing some SUGAR FREE chewing gum (such as Extra) for a few minutes after eating even just a snack or a fruit juice, will stimulate your saliva and the idea is to return your mouth to its resting pH level as soon as possible.

 

I say sugar free chewing gum as the sugary ones won’t help, they’ll just lengthen the time your mouth is acidic and help cause even more dental decay, which is not what we want at all.

 
Here’s a sciencey graph to explain:

Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Copied from https://www.wrigleyextra.com.au/benefits-of-chewing/)

 

So, to prevent decay: snack as little as possible in between meals and if you have to have a snack, chew some gum for a few minutes afterwards. (Don’t forget to brush twice daily and floss or use piksters daily.)

 

See also: Stephan’s curve

 

 

Here at Dentistry on King, Buderim we can talk to you about decay prevention.

Call us on 5445 3110 for an appointment or click here.

 

Some facts about sugar

Dentists hate sugar – well that’s what everyone expects us to say – but everything in moderation, I say.

Yes, sugar is responsible for tooth decay (rotten teeth) hence I wince when I walk past a sweet shop but there are other health issues associated with sugar.

Here are some facts so you can make up your own mind…

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White sugar, raw sugar, honey, golden syrup… they’re all sugar products and they all pack kilojoules

There’s a huge range of sugars and sweeteners available today including white sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup and molasses. Certain types are often promoted in the media or by celebrities as being healthier than others. However, it doesn’t matter whether the product is touted as being raw or less refined or sugar free. The bottom line is that all of these products provide energy/kilojoules and not much else in the way of nutrients (empty calories).

And while artificial/intense sweeteners such as stevia, aspartame, saccharin or sucralose often found in ‘diet’ foods and drinks do not contain kilojoules, they also do not provide any nutrients. These artificial sweeteners are far sweeter than regular sugar and may lead to a reliance on a sweet taste. The best thing to do is have as little as possible of all sugars and sweeteners.

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Low fat foods may actually be full of sugar

While limiting the amount of fat in your diet is good, you have to be careful you don’t end up with more sugar. Many foods, such as yoghurt, flavoured milk and peanut butter, have low fat options, but when you take the fat out of food it often means a loss of taste and different ‘mouth feel’. One way to make up for this is to add sugar. In some cases, a lot of sugar. It’s important to check the label and choose the product with the lowest amount of added sugars.

Also check the ingredient list, because sometimes manufacturers have sneaky ways to hide sugars by calling them by their other names, for example corn syrup, maltose, glucose, fructose and sucrose.

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Tomato sauce has as much sugar as soft drink

We all know that soft drink is high in sugar, but you’d be amazed where else you’ll find sugar in high concentrations. Think yoghurt, pasta sauce, kids’ cereal and, yes, tomato sauce. While soft drink is up to 10% sugar, barbecue sauce and sweet chilli sauce can be loaded with up to 54% sugar.
Moral of the story: check the labels, ease up on the sauce and think about some alternatives like a veggie salsa.

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A sports drink can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar

An average 600mL sports drink contains over 600kJ and nearly 40g or 10 teaspoons of sugar. This can be useful to replace lost energy if you’re running a marathon or doing heavy exercise for over 60minutes. If you’re not, though, it’s just adding empty kilojoules to your day. Compare it to water, which is excellent for hydration and contains…let’s see…absolutely no kilojoules or sugar at all!

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Fruit drinks can contain just as much sugar as soft drink

We know a 600ml bottle of soft drink can contain up to 16 teaspoons of sugar, but did you know fruit drinks can contain just as much? Fruit drinks are often promoted to children as a healthy option, but they may have up to 7 teaspoons of sugar in a 250ml serve, which is equivalent to the amount in a similar volume of soft drink.

Over half of Australians are consuming too much added sugars, with the average intake being about 14 teaspoons (or 60 grams) each day. This is over twice the recommendation from the World Health Organisation of approximately 6 teaspoons per day for adults. Having a diet high in added sugar can lead to excess energy intake and poor dental health in children, overweight and obesity which increase the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Check the label of drinks to find those high in sugar but remember the best drink of all is plain water – cheap, accessible and good for you!

Here at Dentistry on King, Buderim we care about your teeth as well as your general health. Call us on 5445 3110 for an appointment or click here.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

Bruxism – what on earth is that?

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Bruxism is also known as grinding and/or clenching of your teeth. It is a very common condition that affects both children and adults.

Who has bruxism

It is thought that about half of the population grinds their teeth from time to time. But it may be serious in only about 1 in 20 cases. About 30% of children grind or clench their teeth. Most children grow out of this and suffer no lasting effects to their adult teeth.

What causes bruxism

Some experts consider bruxism to be a habit, while others attribute it to one of the following:

  • Stress, anxiety, frustration and anger
  • A malocclusion, or when the teeth and jaw do not line up correctly
  • A symptom of certain rare diseases of the nerves and muscles in the face
  • In rare cases, it may be a side effect of some medicines that treat depression.
  • A complication of Huntington or Parkinson’s disease

How do I know if I have it

You may not know that you grind your teeth while you are asleep. A bed partner may be the first person to notice grinding sounds and noises. Other clues may be morning symptoms of a dull headache, jaw muscles that hurt or are tight, trouble opening the mouth wide, long lasting pain in the face, damage to the teeth and broken dental fillings.

Your dentist can help to work out if you have bruxism. You will be asked a series of questions and your overall dental health will be checked. This may include looking for any wear and damage to your teeth, checking the muscles in and around your jaw and the function of the jaw joints, which are just in front of your ears. They may need to look at changes to your teeth and mouth over a number of visits to work out whether the cause is bruxism.

To be sure that you suffer from sleep bruxism, a sleep study may be needed. This will show how much you move your jaw while asleep. A sleep study looking for bruxism by itself is not common, but it may uncover other sleep problems.Bruxism is sometimes associated with snoring, sleep apnoea, or other night-time movement disorders.

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Bruxism and Oral Health

The primary causes of bruxism are stress and anxiety. Over time, the physical reaction to emotional stressors of grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw becomes habitual. According to the ADA, people who grind their teeth ultimately weaken their tooth’s structures. Tooth enamel is the protective barrier that surrounds teeth and it is especially prone to damage from teeth grinding. Extra force placed on the teeth from bruxism can also damage restorative dental work, such as fillings and crowns.

Grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw also strain the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jawbone to the skull. Long-term strain and stress on the TMJ can produce discomfort, including facial pain and headaches.

How is bruxism treated?

There are many treatments available for bruxism, including relaxation and awareness techniques. Counselling may help to relieve stress in your life. Improving the quality of your sleep can be of benefit. This may include reducing the use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, having enough sleep, making sure you have a good bedtime routine and relaxing before bed. Treating sleep apnoea in some people may also help to control sleep bruxism.

There are no medications that will stop sleep bruxism. A grinding mouthguard can be made. This is like a sports mouthguard, but harder. It will help protect the teeth, muscles and jaw joint from the pressure of clenching and grinding. It will not stop bruxism and in some cases can make the actual grinding worse, but it will lessen the damage to your teeth.

In general, medications aren’t very effective for treatment of bruxism, and more research is needed to determine their effectiveness. Examples of medications that may be used for bruxism include:

  • Muscle relaxants. In some cases, your doctor may suggest taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime, for a short period of time.
  • Botox injections. Injections of Botox, a form of botulinum toxin, may help some people with severe bruxism who don’t respond to other treatments.
  • Medication for anxiety or stress. Your doctor may recommend short-term use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to help you deal with stress or other emotional issues that may be causing your bruxism.
  • Meditation can help reduce bruxism

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Night Guard for Teeth Grinding

Fortunately, the simplest solution for preventing damage to teethfrom bruxism is the use of a professionally made night guard or splint. Tell your dentist if you or a family member is known to grind their teeth or clench the jaw. Even if you are unaware of the habit, your dentist may notice it during your oral exam because excessive wear on the back molars and enamel loss both indicate bruxism.

A splint for teeth grinding is a custom-fitted oral appliance that is made of plastic. This type of guard is worn during sleep and prevents the teeth from scraping against each other. By addressing bruxism early with professional treatment, you can prevent widespread damage to your teeth.

In addition to prescribing a splint, your dentist may have to restore damaged teeth with crowns or fillings to improve oral function and maintain the proper shape and size of the teeth.

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At Dentistry on King, Buderim, we can assess your toothwear and need for a splint or other therapies.

Call us today on 5445 3110 or click here for an appointment.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

Yellow Teeth – and what you can do about it

Lots of people ask us here at Dentistry on King why their teeth are appearing yellower or darker over time.

This is a common phenomenon and is due to multiple factors:

Thinning of the enamel (the outer surface of the tooth). The whiter enamel gets worn away over the years and reveals the yellower dentine underneath.

Staining. As teeth age, they pick up stains. Anything that can stain a white T-shirt can stain a tooth eg red wine, coffee, tea, smoking.

Dental trauma. Sometimes previous trauma to a tooth can cause it to go darker or yellow over time.

What can be done to make my teeth whiter?

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Tooth whitening – we offer the Opalescence Go system of at-home whitening for convenient effective results.

 

Veneers – both composite or porcelain. Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.42.10 amThese cover your natural teeth to achieve the shape and colour desired.

 

 

Make an appointment with one of our friendly dentists here at Dentistry on King to discuss your options to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Call 5445 3110 to make your appointment today – it’ll change your life.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

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Thumb sucking – when should I get worried?

A concern for many parents is their child’s thumb sucking habit; how long will it last and will it affect their teeth?

The good news is: most children grow out of the habit before they start school.Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.38.56 am

Thumb or finger sucking is a comfort for many young children just like using a dummy. It can help with self soothing and many babies and toddlers use it as a coping mechanism when anxious or separated from their parents. The habit helps to induce sleep, and children may suck their thumbs in the evening before bedtime.

The time to get concerned is if the thumb/finger sucking continues past 4 or 5 years old. By this time, prolonged sucking could begin to affect your child’s mouth and developing jaw and teeth, possibly causing permanent teeth to be misaligned. If your child passively sucks his thumb, the habit may be easier to discourage, but vigorous sucking can lead to changes in the palate that affect the permanent bite and are usually more difficult to end without intervention – listen out for a ‘pop’ when your child removes the thumb/finger from their mouth to determine if your child is sucking vigorously.

Steps to discourage

Usually a child will stop by themselves so often, the best strategy is simply to ignore the behavior. Children will figure out on their own when this behavior is not acceptable from social situations and peer pressure.

  • Offer babies a dummy – it is easier to take a dummy away
  • Have a reward chart for reducing and stopping the thumb/finger sucking
  • Encourage and praise your child as they reduce and stop thumb/finger sucking
  • Speak to your dentist about this habit and get your child’s teeth checked to see if any permanent changes are occurring

If your child is finding it hard to give up their thumb/finger sucking habit, maybe try the products you can paint onto nails, use a glove or a sock on the fingers or just a Bandaid or in older children even acrylic nails may help. Whatever you choose, keep things encouraging and positive as criticism or nagging may cause more anxiety and perpetuate the problem.

What effects may occur?

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.39.00 amIf the habit continues beyond the age of five or six, the pressure and sucking motion will begin to make changes to the mouth and teeth. The front teeth may jut out, and the child’s bite will be open, not allowing the upper and lower front teeth to touch. The skeletal changes will begin to affect the alignment of the permanent or secondary teeth. Your child’s dentist can evaluate the changes and provide a referral to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist for a consultation.

The sooner the habit is stopped, the better the chance that the bite will correct itself.

At Dentistry on King, Buderim we can check for any problems at your child’s regular 6 monthly checkups. Call now 5445 3110 or click here to make your appointment.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

Why should I take my child to the dentist

Why should I take my child to the dentist – baby teeth fall out anyway, right?

(And what is the Child Dental Benefits Scheme?)

Take good care of your child’s baby teeth.Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.02.27 am

They do eventually fall out but until they do, baby teeth play an important role in helping your child bite and chew food, and speak clearly.

Many of the same treatment and evaluation options that adults have are also available to kids. These include X-rays, dental sealants, orthodontic treatment and more.

 

 

 

 

Baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. …

They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.02.34 amYou can start cleaning your baby’s teeth by wiping with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water. At 18 months start using a smear of low-fluoride toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth. Encourage your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing, but not rinse.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Baby Bottle Decay and How Can I Prevent It?

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.02.37 amBaby bottle decay is caused by frequent exposure, over time, to liquids containing sugars. These include milk, formula, and fruit juices. The sugary liquids pool around the teeth for long periods of time as your baby sleeps, leading to cavities that first develop in the upper and lower front teeth. For this reason, you shouldn’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in his mouth. Instead, at naptime, give your child a bottle filled with water or a dummy recommended by your dentist. If you breast-feed, avoid letting the baby nurse continuously. And after each feeding, wipe your baby’s teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a gauze pad.

What is Fluoride and How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting the Right Amount?
Fluoride is beneficial even before your child’s teeth begin to erupt. It strengthens the tooth enamel as the teeth are forming.

While most babies don’t start getting teeth until they are 6 months old, infant dental care is important from the very beginning. Many dentists recommend an initial visit before the child’s first birthday to make sure teeth and gums are cared for and cleaned properly, also to get your child used to visiting the dentist. Make the first visit fun!

Help Prevent Childhood Cavities

At a child’s first visit, parents will receive instructions on good oral habits for their child and themselves to reduce oral bacteria in the mouth.

Perhaps most importantly, parents will learn that limiting the intake of fermentable carbohydrates, especially juice and milk, is crucial. It is the frequency of intake of these sugary liquids that correlates with cavities and should be monitored, especially in bottles or cups at bedtime.

 

As your child grows, a dental health care provider will introduce and reinforce important treatments and habits for preventing decay, tooth loss, and gingivitis. A visit to the dentist will include an exam and thorough cleaning, instruction in proper brushing and flossing, systemic or topical fluoride treatments, and pit and fissure sealants on permanent molars. Fluoride, though important for cavity prevention, should be limited by age and amount to prevent overexposure. The dentist or dental hygienist can also review proper nutrition for dental and overall health and make recommendations for mouth guards to protect kid’s teeth when they begin playing sports.

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When a child is about 6 years old, his/her teeth will begin to come loose. Let your child wiggle the tooth until it falls out on its own. This will minimize the pain and bleeding associate with a lost tooth.

Obviously, let your child know that the Toothfairy doesn’t pay much – if at all – for rotten teeth!

 

 

 

Parents: The Best Role Models

Parents play an important role in their children’s dental health. They need to reinforce good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing at home with their children. However, the most important impact on your children will come from observing your own good habits. Lead by example and demonstrate how important your children’s teeth are to their overall health and continuing quality of life. Optimal dental health translates to a healthier child in general and impacts their future habits and livelihood.

At Dentistry on King, we offer treatment under Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) for eligible children (children aged 2 to 17 years that are of families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A or other Government payments).

Eligible children can get up to $1000 worth of general dental treatment (including checkups, x-rays, preventative fissure seals, fillings and extractions etc) over 2 consecutive calendar years. All children that are eligible for this scheme are BULK BILLED by us here at Dentistry on King so there are no out of pocket expenses for parents.

To find out more about whether your child is eligible, please call our team at Dentistry on King 5445 3110 or click here with your Medicare number handy.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

 

5 top celebrity smiles

Elle MacPherson

This Sydney beauty may be nicknamed “The Body”, but we can’t overlook her gorgeous smile.

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Julia Roberts

This pretty woman has a pretty smile to compliment her ageless looks.

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Miranda Kerr

This Australian beauty hasn’t neglected her beautiful smile.

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Will Smith

The Fresh Prince likely has a fresh breath too.

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Kate Middleton

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge certainly has a royal smile.

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Here at Dentistry on King, Buderim, we can help you get a celebrity smile. Ask us about aesthetic dentistry and get the smile you deserve – it’ll change your life!

Call us today on 5445 3110 to make a smile makeover appointment

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Children’s tooth care checklist

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  • Brush morning and night with a children’s toothpaste
  • Have an adult brush the child’s teeth until 8 years old
  • Floss teeth that touch – maybe use a flossette
  • Avoid foods with added sugars including yoghurt and other so-called “health foods”
  • Avoid packaged foods – fresh is best
  • Try to avoid snacking in between meals especially on sugary foods
  • Make a dentist appointment for 6 monthly checkups – even small holes can progress quickly in milk teeth. Also the dentist will see if an orthodontic referral is needed

Here at Dentistry on King in Buderim, we know that children (and parents!) can get nervous about coming to the dentist and we pride ourselves on our gentle and fun approach with children.

Call 5445 3110 to make your child’s next dentist appointment

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

Scared of the dentist

“I was scared of dentists and the dark”….hopefully you’re not scared of either, but unfortunately many people have anxiety about visiting a dentist or even a dental phobia.

Why are people scared of the dentist?

Many people are worried about being told off by the dentist, have had a bad experience in the past where it has hurt or they have had a poor relationship with their previous dentist. Some others are worried that their teeth are too embarrassing to show or that it will cost too much to make improvements. Other people will tell you their personal reasons; whatever the reason, it’s a barrier.

At Dentistry on King, we pride ourselves on our gentle approach and clear explanations. It is always better to come along when not in pain or having a problem, but if you have put it off, there is no need to be embarrassed: all of our experienced dentists would have seen all sorts of mouths…and you certainly won’t get told off!

Medication

For extremely anxious patients sometimes we would recommend certain medications prior to treatment and we may even recommend treatment with a sedationist (twilight sedation).

The one thing you can do to make the biggest difference

Ultimately the most important tip I have is to make an appointment with the dentist to discuss you concerns and just check them out. By making a non-clinical appointment, talking with a dentist, you will quickly see if there is a personal connection there, if you trust them and have confidence in them then that will make a big difference to your fear.

At Dentistry on King we pride ourselves on our gentle non-scary approach.

Call us today 5445 3110 to make an appointment or click here.

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au

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8 ways to prevent dental decay

One thing we get asked at Dentistry on King is how to prevent dental decay and the need for fillings in the first place. Decay is caused by plaque bacteria dissolving the tooth surface and forming a hole or cavity. It can be invisible to the naked eye (hence the need for X-rays). Left untreated, dental decay can lead to loss of a tooth.

  1. Brush your teeth thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day to get rid of decay-causing plaque
  2. Floss daily – oruse interdental brushes such as piksters – to remove plaque and debris from those hard to reach areas in between teeth
  3. Reduce sugary snacks and how often you snack – remember even lots of health foods contain added sugar and ingredients ending in “-ose” are hidden sugars
  4. Use a fluoride mouthwash for an extra boost to your cleaning regime
  5. Chew sugar-free chewinggum to further stimulate saliva flow (provided you do not have jaw pain, as this can be worsened with chewing gum)
  6. Drink unfiltered tap water. Here on the Sunshine Coast the tap water is fluoridated with levels that are carefully monitored and controlled so that developing teeth receive optimum levels of fluoride. These levels of fluoride are safe for consumption, and help the formation of strong, healthy enamel to prevent decay.
  7. Brush your tongue – your tongue is also covered in plaque so brushing or scraping it reduces the overall volume of mouth bacteria
  8. Visit the dentist every six months. It’s vital for the health of your teeth and gums that you visit your dentist for a checkup-up and clean twice a year. Don’t assume that you can skip an appointment because your teeth look healthy and you haven’t experienced any pain. A dentist has the expertise to see symptoms or signs of trouble that you can’t. Also, a dental cleaning removes tartar build-up that cannot be removed at home.

At Dentistry on King, we can discuss prevention of decay at your regular checkup.
Call us on 5445 3110

Article Courtesy Of Health QLD see full article and more here @ healthier.qld.gov.au