How Much Sugar Is Too Much For Kids?

How to maintain your kids’ oral health

Often the threats that sugar can cause to your oral health can go unnoticed. This is usually the case with children’s oral health too. Hiding in so many of the foods and drink that we consume daily, sugar has damaging effects on our body and teeth.

For children who consume a lot of sugar and have a high sugar intake daily, tooth decay is a very serious possibility. Many types of bacteria live in our body and mouth, and certain kinds of bacteria feed off sugar and create an acid that can cause softening or dissolving of the tooth’s enamel or protective outer layer. This in turn creates tooth decay or tooth cavities. 

Our bodies naturally offset the acids created by sugar in our mouths by producing saliva which acts to rinse the mouth. This process of lessening the effects of the damaging sugar acids on your teeth enamel is called remineralisation. If the cycle of acid creation in your mouth (due to high sugar intake) is constant, however, the enamel on your teeth won’t have a chance to remineralise. Drinking water aids in saliva production; if your kids were to keep drinking a lot of carbonated fizzy drinks during the day instead of water, they’re inadvertently helping the bacteria produce more acid faster than can be neutralised in your mouth, and the results can be quite unfavourable.

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

What’s the recommended daily sugar intake?

The recommended guideline for an average adult’s daily intake of sugar as provided by the World Health Organization is up to twelve teaspoons of sugar or 10% of your daily energy intake requirements. That’s roughly about 50g per day. It’s challenging to provide a measurement for children for their daily intake as it varies depending on factors like age and sex.

Click below for a guideline on the recommended energy intake required for children. However, it is important to remember that it doesn’t account for your child’s size or level of activity during the day.

You’d be surprised to know that a small 375ml can of Coke can actually take up as much as 80% of your daily sugar intake as an adult! This leaves some 20% of sugar allowance left for food, which even without added sugars, naturally contain sugar as well.

For more information on what foods are considered high in sugar and to see how drinks compare in terms of their sugar content, click on the link to Read the Full Article at the bottom of the page.

What do you need to do to protect your child’s teeth from sugar?

Source: Australian Dental Association

Sugar weakens the tooth’s enamel and causes cavities. These holes, decay or cavities cause damage that is permanent to the tooth.

When there is tooth decay, it becomes necessary for a dentist to be involved in fixing the issue and treating the damage to the tooth. The cavity can be a tiny hole that has started to develop in the tooth’s enamel which can be easily treated using a standard dental filling. However, if the decay has penetrated and affected the pulp down in the root of the tooth, the situation becomes more serious. This will only happen if you leave a tooth that is starting to decay untreated for a long time, causing more layers of the tooth to get affected and rot.

In the case of a cavity or decay infecting the root of the tooth, the dentist would have to perform a root canal treatment to save the infected tooth. This is more invasive and will take more time to heal. If the tooth is simply unsalvageable, it must be removed.

In a child, this will be the last resort for a dentist. Your child’s primary teeth play a vital role in keeping all the teeth in the correct place until the adult teeth begin to form. Losing a tooth early on as a child could create spacing problems with teeth and will result in necessary orthodontic treatment later as your child grows up.

Cut down on sugar in your family’s diet. Try to always maintain a healthy balanced diet for meals and good oral hygiene practices like brushing teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, limiting sugary foods and drinks and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans!

It’s absolutely vital that you seek advice from a dentist on your child’s oral health as soon as their first tooth starts to emerge. This way, the dentist can keep a close eye and monitor to see if any signs of decay show early on and avoid having to undergo intrusive treatment procedures.

Creating a positive experience at the dentist

It would be helpful if your child sees a dentist for the first time prior to any dental issue arising. This is because we can then start off by introducing your child to dentistry with a more gentle, non-invasive examination to spend more time establishing a positive relationship with them. If we can establish a healthy relationship with your child from the get-go, we can minimise any dental anxiety or phobias that may arise after visiting the dentist for the first time for a major dental procedure, creating a negative association in their minds.

It is important that you do not talk about seeing the dentist in a negative way. Often children associate seeing the dentist as a frightening experience.

  • Don’t bribe your child
  • Don’t tell them that it might hurt and that they’re brave
  • Don’t speak of any negative experiences that you may have experienced at the dentist
  • Don’t be anxious; this could transfer to your child who sees that you’re anxious
  • Try to be positive and make it a fun experience
  • Make regular appointments with the dentist for check-ups

To read the full article click on the link below.

Summary

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

Christmas Brushing Charts – Free Download

Routines go haywire over the Christmas period, especially with all the snacks and special treats on offer. It’s an important time not to forget the kids’ oral health!

For optimal dental health, we recommend brushing your children’s teeth twice a day. It can be a difficult routine for your child to get used to, but it’s important to persevere, particularly when there’s so many sugary treats to eat around Christmas time.

To help you, we’ve designed these FREE downloadable Christmas bushing charts for use at home. There are three to choose from, each specific to an age group and particular routine. Check them out below!

 

Download the individual brushing charts above, or get all three here.

 

Reward Good Habits

Brushing charts can help make brushing teeth fun for kids. It can be the extra incentive that makes the routine of twice daily brushing less of a chore, particularly for reluctant kids.

It always helps to praise your child while they brush their teeth and when they colour in their chart. The more fun and rewarding the process, the more likely it is to become a routine.

When completing their chart, we recommend rewarding them with a small prize. This needn’t be anything extravagant; it could simply be their favourite meal for dinner, a picnic at the beach, or even a small toy (something collectable, like Lego, which they can build upon as they keep up their brushing).

 

Free Children’s Dental

The government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule allows eligible families free children’s dental up to $1000 in benefits per child every two calendar years. At Polished Dental, we bulk bill dental treatment for all children eligible under the schedule.

Check here to see if you’re eligible or for more information.

Our experts are friendly and experienced with all aspects of children’s dental

If you would like to make an appointment please call at 3878 3889 or book online.

Book Now Call 3878 3889

Dental Checks For Children – Tips for Visiting the Dentist

Below are a couple of Do’s and Don’ts to help make dental checks for children as stress-free as possible!

Dental Checks For Children – Tips for Visiting the Dentist

Do- Role play! – Young children LOVE roleplaying! This is the perfect way to familiarise your little ones with what to expect when they come in to see our dentists for a check-up. Sit on the couch or floor with you your legs crossed and have your child lay with their head in your lap and play dentist! Have them open their mouth wide, count their teeth – even brush and floss while you have them still and then have them do the same for you!

DO- Encourage Healthy Oral Hygiene habits at home. Children learn by watching the adults around them -We brush and floss our own teeth twice a day and we need to do the same with children- from the moment you see that very first tooth popping through the journey of looking after our Oral health has officially begun! For young babies you can clean with a damp face washer and then progress to a baby toothbrush, this will familiarise them with the feel of the brush in their mouth and give you a talking point “Look mummy and daddy have a tooth brush too!” “Let’s clean those toothy pegs!”

DO- Bring your child in for their first visit while they are still young. First visits generally start between the ages of 1 and 2. This first visit is primarily about the child meeting the dentist, possibly having a ride in our cool chair, seeing our cool little mirror, counting teeth and creating a positive environment. We understand that it can be daunting for both parents and the child but we are here to help make looking after teeth as fun as possible. Also keep their visits regular, every 6 months is recommended and this will form a routine for them that they will expect.

DO- Ask us if to enquire if you and your family are eligible for the Child Dental Benefit Scheme through Medicare and for those families not eligible we offer a 10% Student discount. We understand that raising a family is expensive so on top of providing a 10% Student discount we work hard to keep our fees low as well as offer an Interest free payment plan through Zip money if more extensive treatment is required (eg Braces) Maintaining regular check-ups also helps identify areas of concern early. The earlier a potential problem is identified the less expensive the fix is. Prevention is not only better than cure it is cheaper too!

DON’T -Please don’t use us as a punishment or use negative associations with our service! “If you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will pull your teeth out” “If you’re not good you will go see the dentist” “It will hurt” “You will get a needle” are some of the common ones! (I know because my parents used these on me!) If something is constantly being described or referred to as a negative experience, children will latch on to this and it could affect their healthy hygiene habits. Instead use positive phrases “The dentist is a friend of the tooth fairy” “They have a cool tv on the roof while your laying down” “The dentist helps keep our teeth healthy just like the doctor helps keep your body healthy”

DON’T- Don’t show signs of stress yourself! If mum or dad is stressed out the child will sense this and think they have something to worry about. The very first appt should be something that’s celebrated as it’s a milestone for your child growing up. We love working with children and have a few distraction techniques up our sleeves- most popular is the tv on the roof helps as we can have their favourite tv show playing to make them feel a bit more comfortable.

Remember we are here to help make the appointment as easy for both yourself and your child. Any questions please ask us! Click here to contact the friendly team at Polished Dental if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

Q&As on New Dental Trends – Charcoal Toothpaste, Banana Skins & More

The great thing about the internet is that it is now easier than ever to access information and tips, but it’s also easier to come across incorrect or misinformation on new products such as charcoal toothpaste.

So we thought we’d have a Q&A session with our dentists to see what their thoughts on some recent dental trends are:

Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste has started hitting the shelves in the last few years and promises to get rid of stubborn long lasting stains. They look very interesting as they come as a black gel – completely opposite to the white toothpastes we’ve become accustom to.

Dr. Andrew

Charcoal toothpastes claim to whiten teeth using charcoal to polish away staining. This may be true – but it likely isn’t any more effective than traditional whitening toothpastes. Many whitening toothpastes contain an abrasive intended to lightly polish away superficial stains and charcoal does the exact same thing. The only difference would be charcoal is black and traditional whitening toothpastes use white silica (sand).  A possible drawback to be wary of is that the black charcoal may get underneath leaky fillings and fine divets of teeth to leave extra staining.  Also many charcoal toothpastes contain fluoride which can act as a sort of insurance against tooth decay so users may have to be more diligent with brushing.

Charcoal toothpaste are not harmful but they need to be used with care if they are used instead of traditional fluoride containing toothpastes. If patients wish to use it, we recommend using it together with, not instead of, traditional toothpastes.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling can be done with coconut oil. A small amount is used to rinse around the mouth to draw or pull bacteria away from teeth to stop decay.

Dr. Montana

Oil pulling may play a part in mechanically reducing the amount of bacteria around teeth and gums as swishing around liquids or brushing teeth will disrupt bacteria colonies. By far and away the most effective way is to disrupt bacteria in your mouth is to brush and floss as the toothbrush bristles are very effective at breaking up the colonies. If patients wish to oil pull, we recommend still brushing and flossing your teeth to make sure you don’t expose yourself to a higher rate of tooth decay.

Charcoal Toothpaste or Banana Skins to Whiten TeethUsing banana peels to whiten your teeth

Using the inside of a ripe banana peel to rub against your teeth to leave them whiter.

Dr. Sang

Banana peels contain a high amount of potassium and can be a mild abrasive. Just like any abrasive found in toothpaste, the banana peel when rubbed against teeth can hence rub off superficial stains. It would take a fair few times to get any whitening result. If using banana skins doesn’t tickle your fancy, using a traditional whitening toothpaste may get the same result. As the others have mentioned I certainly wouldn’t be using banana skin whitening instead of regular brushing or flossing!

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Dental Pain – 5 Different Types and Causes of Dental Pain

Ever had that random dental pain and worry about what it might mean? Your teeth are trying to reach out to you – and this is what they might be trying to tell you:

Short sharp sensitivity to cold, or sweet

Examples:

That glass of cold water that causes you to wince or that ice block that you just can’t bite intoThe pain is short and sharp and is gone within seconds.

You tuck into some chocolate but every so often, in one part of the mouth, you get a short bit of sensitivity.

Possible cause:

Exposed tooth nerves causing dental pain. Nerves can become exposed fairly easily. All it takes is some gum recession or tooth decay to expose dentine. Within dentine there are tubules that connect the tooth nerve with your mouth (or that cold water).

Dull ache or throbbing

Example:

You’ve finished for the day, you head to bed and a throbbing ache starts in a tooth that was only niggling before.

You sit down to have your morning cup of coffee but the heat causes a tooth to really ache

Possible cause:

Inflamed or infected nerve. When nerves have been irritated for an extended amount of time or when they’ve passed the point of being temporarily irritated – tooth pain can come spontaneous and present ass a dull ache instead of a quick sharp pain

Aching pain that moves around

You have a hot tea and then the pain starts along the bottom left jaw and then moves to the top left as well. As annoying as it is you cannot tell where the pain is coming from.

Possible causes:

Inflamed or infected nerve causing radiating or referred pain. This radiating pain can sometimes come from multiple teeth or can be the just the one tooth causing pain that seems like it’s coming from multiple teeth.  Referred pain can move from the top to the bottom of one side but will never move from the left hand side of the mouth to the right and side (and vice versa)

Pain in the jaw joint or cheek muscles

You wake up tired and it feels like you’ve been using your cheek muscles all night as they’re very tight.

Your jaw joints are clicky and it’s very sore on the joint to open wide sometimes.  

Muscular pain around the mouth can come from many different reasons. Some can come from clenching or grinding and others can come from degeneration of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ). Just like the diagnosis, treatment for muscular pain can really vary too – so proper diagnoses is key.

Dental pain around the sinuses

You’ve had a cold and your sinuses are sore. At the same time your top teeth feel weak and are sore to chew with.

When your sinuses are inflamed you can get referred pain to your top teeth as there is increased pressure at the roots of the top back tooth. This can feel like toothache but it is not as common – so as a rule if suspicious of any pain coming from the teeth it’s best to get it checked rather than assume it is coming from the sinus.   

Hopefully these tips allow you to interpret some of the messages your teeth are sending you. Although it’s good to know why you’re getting pain it’s another thing to try to get the problem fixed. Please let us know if you’re experiencing these symptoms so we can let you know how you can get you individual problem looked at, diagnosed and resolved.

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Them and How Can It Be Managed

Sensitive Teeth AshgroveSensitive teeth can occur for a wide range of reasons, some as innocuous as extra sensitivity, to more concerning problems such as tooth decay or infection.
 
The tricky part is telling these causes apart!

Extra sensitive teeth

Some people simply have extra sensitive teeth! We call this hypersensitivity and although treatment is not typically required, the good news is this can usually be managed well at home with products such as a sensitive toothpaste.

Receding gums

Ever heard the saying “long in the tooth”? It should really be called “short in the gums”! It is true that your gums can recede with age however this can also occur in younger patients.
 
Gum disease, missing adjacent teeth, and repositioning of teeth after orthodontic treatment are all possible causes although overly hard brushing is one of the more common culprits. As the gum migrates further down the tooth, more of the root is exposed causing sensitivity.
 
It’s best to either prevent this recession or maintain our gums before the recession worsens.

Enamel wear 

Enamel is the hard protective layer on the outermost part of our teeth. This can be worn away over time due to acid erosion or hard tooth brushing habits, leaving the more sensitive dentine layer exposed.
 
Monitor acidic foods and drinks such as fizzy drinks, lemon water, some fruits, wine and vinegar, and try to avoid their contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw or rinsing with plain water.
 
Internal acids, such as those resulting from reflux, are also risk factors for enamel erosion and it is best to address the causes of these acids where possible.
 
Also remember to use a soft toothbrush and a gentle brushing technique to avoid over-scrubbing your pearly whites! Where enamel loss is more significant, a filling can be placed to cover the exposed tooth surface. This replaces your enamel and will help protect the tooth from further wear.

Chipped teeth causing sensitive teeth

Similarly to enamel wear, when a tooth fractures, the second dentine layer of the tooth can be exposed, leading to sensitivity. This is usually resolved once the broken portion is repaired and the tooth is covered and sealed again.

Tooth decay causing sensitivity

Tooth decay can cause a cavity within your tooth resulting in sensitivity. Initially this may be sensitive to cold only although sensitivity to hot food and drinks can mean the nerve is deteriorating further.
 
Often a simple filling is all that is required however, in more severe conditions, infection may mean further treatment is necessary.
 
Regardless of the cause of tooth sensitivity, the best practice for you and your mouth is to get checked out while the problem is still manageable.
 
We’re here to help with any questions you may have, to ensure you can keep smiling until you’re grey in the hair and not “long in the tooth”!
 
Please give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to use our online contact form.