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

On Smiling – By Dr. Sang!

Smiling is not only good for our health but is Infectious! Did you know?

In a society that is constantly busy, on the move and absorbed by technology and social media it almost seems to be a forgotten behaviour to smile and acknowledge the people we walk past. When was the last time you were smiled at in the street or do you know the last time you smiled at somebody you didn’t know? Not only is it polite, but smiling also has health benefits and can improve our mental well being. It makes us feel happier when we smile and also helps our body to release endorphins that can provide multiple benefits including reduced blood pressure, reduced stress and has been proven to make us more attractive to others!

After talking to lots of our patients and the community we’ve found that lack of confidence or concerns of our oral health is a big reason why people don’t smile or laugh especially out in public . Do you find yourself not feeling confident to smile because you feel self conscious? Let us help you regain that confidence so you can help our team continue Spike Milligan’s epidemic and infect the world with smiles!

 

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.

Benefits of Dental Check Up – Dr. Monatana’s Thoughts (ABC News)

Benefits of dental check up is the topic we want to talk to you about today. You may have read the news or seen our recent blog post about the ABC News article – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How often do you need to have your regular dental checkups? Well, as a follow up to our initial article we’re happy to share Dr. Montana’s thoughts on the situation – how often do you really need to go to the dentist? Does this change depending on what your dental history is like, should everyone go every 6 months…what’s the best way to ensure you have healthy teeth without going to the dentist unnecessarily? 

Benefits of dental check up – what’s the scoop?

Today Dr. Montana from Polished Dental has prepared a video to explain the benefits of dental check up more clearly. We’d love for you to take a look and let us know what you think! As it turns out, it very much depends on your own personal situation – some people can go to the dentist yearly, or some who may potentially have some issues should see us at regular intervals so we’re able to monitor your mouth and ensure nothing is getting worse. 

Come in and meet the friendly team at Polished Dental today. Give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to book a dentist appointment online at our brand new Kenmore location.

Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth?

Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth? New alternative (i.e. sugar free / limited) soft drinks have hit the market recently. These drinks are shifting the way we think about traditional sugary ‘rot your teeth’ drinks. We can place ‘classic’ soft drink / soda on one side and newer ‘lightly sparkling no sugar’ drinks as the other.

Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth - Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling
Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For Your Teeth – Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling (source: amazon.com.au)

Usually there are two things in soft drink that will cause harm to our teeth:

  • First issue is sugar – bacteria in our mouths metabolise this sugar and produce acid as a by product which in turn causes tooth decay – more sugar equals more decay. The solution to this is to avoid drinking sugary drinks (this is good for your health anyway and starves bacteria of food source) and avoid exposure of the sugar to our teeth (be sure to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards).
  • The second issue you’ll experience from drinking soft drinks is acid wear; the PH scale measures how acidic or basic something is. A 7 is a neutral result (i.e. the same as water), and less than 7 is acidic (e.g. lemons).

More about PH Scales

A PH scale of more than 7 is basic (like bicarb soda). Our saliva has a ph of 7.4 – anything with a PH of 5.5 or less is so acidic that it will dissolve our teeth. The more acidic the quicker it dissolves. Lemons have a PH of 2, cola 2.5 and sparkling water has a PH level of approx 4.5-5.5 depending on brand. So sparkling water is definitely less dissolving potential than cola, but still more than water. You can minimise the affect of acid on your teeth by having less acidic drinks (more waters), lessening exposure (drink through a straw) or making sure you don’t brush your teeth 30 mins or so after drinking or eating acidic drinks or anything really aside from water.

Carbonated drinks and your teeth: key takeaways

Realistically, moderation here is key, with the newer age drinks. If you are sensible and drink 1-2 a day (thus minimising long term exposure to the slightly acidic drink) through a straw and wait 30 mins before brushing you’ll be fine. These sugarfree sodas are a great new age solution for a refreshing drink. For soda/soft drink sadly – there’s never really a great time to drink them – especially if you can tolerate these newer drinks.

Any questions? Please feel free to contact us or make an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental.