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.
Xerostomia is a dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. Saliva really is the unsung hero of our mouth. Despite seeming so innocuous, saliva is full of helpful very helpful factors. Saliva contains antibodies, which are used to fight the decay-causing bacteria, enzymes which start digestion of foods such as starches and helps control the acidity of our mouth. Possibly the most overlooked role of saliva is that it is used to flush away food and plaque and also acts a lubricant.
Without saliva – our rate of decay skyrockets and it can become very uncomfortable very quickly – just think to how uncomfortable it is with a parched mouth when you were last thirsty – and then imagine that permanently.
So what are some dry mouth causes and treatments?
Xerostemia or Dry Mouth Causes
There are many xerostemia or dry mouth causes. These include:
Many medications have decreased saliva as a side effect. This one is particularly risky as many patients will have a reduced amount of saliva and not be aware of underlying issue. If unchecked decay can creep in very quickly in areas that are not normally seen; namely around where the teeth meet the gums. This is because the saliva is not there to buffer and flush our decay causing bacteria and acid.
Pathology in the salivary glands
Many illnesses have saliva pathology as an additional issue. These include connective tissue disorders such as Lupus or Sjorgren’s Disease. These illnesses mean that the internal structure of saliva glands is altered which then effects the production of saliva. The decreased production of saliva then causes xerostomia.
This is the most common cause of xerostomia. All of us have experienced being so thirty that our mouths feel dry and this is exactly what is happening. When our bodies are dehydration, the body’s reaction is to reign in how water is being used and decreasing saliva production is one of these measures. Dehydration is particularly dangerous as it can happen to anyone, and happen to frequently to otherwise healthy people. So make sure during our long summers you’re staying hydrated as a way to also look after your teeth.
Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy (particularly to the head and neck)
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy to the head and neck can damage the internal structure of salivary glands and salivary ducts. Although this is a side effect of important treatment, proper management can definitely help the mouth stay healthy and comfortable to ensure patients can focus their energy on a side effect instead of the cancer requiring the chemo or radiotherapy.
Dry Mouth Treatment
What can I do to help?
Regular dental check-ups and a comprehensive exam before starting treatments A comprehensive dental examination before starting on medications that decrease saliva flow is essential to proactively making a plan to keep the mouth in healthy condition before xerostomia sets in. This is the most important step in maintaining existing oral health and making sure it does not drop off. Maintenance and checks in the form or routine examinations then ensures plans are working and that any tips can be given before any expensive or painful deterioration or decay.
Saliva substitute like Biotene are great substitute for saliva and offer instantaneous lubrication and relief.
Keeping your fluids up with regular water intake are great in keeping saliva levels up. Particular on hot days where we sweat or after heavy exercise, make sure you keep your water bottle next to you to replenish any water loss to ensure there’s enough water in your system to keep making saliva.
Chewing stimulates saliva, so chewing gum after eating ensures there is a steady flow of saliva to both wash away food particles as well as helping saliva buffer away acid to make sure your mouth’s environment isn’t too harsh.
Meticulous oral hygiene
Brushing for two minutes every day and flossing once a day before brushing makes sure you are physically removing plaque and bacteria that lessens the role of saliva in keeping teeth safe from decay and gums free from gum disease.
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!
Today Dr. Montana from Polished Dental has prepared a video to explain our views 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.
ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?
You may have recently read the ABC Science article summarising a recent UK study which found gum disease in patients who went to the dentist for a regular scale and polish and those who hadn’t attended in 3 years and found that there were no differences in gum health between the two groups. So what’s the point in regular visits, you might ask? Why do I need to go to the dentist so often?
The answer is…you might not have to – if you’re lucky! There are certainly patients who have a lower risk of gum disease and can extend their check-up intervals from the routine 6 months to 12 months, but for most a regular check-up is a good opportunity not just for the clean and polish but for us to examine and monitor other potential problems.
At Polished Dental, examples of issues we’re monitoring at your check-up are:
The health and seal of old fillings
Cracks and wear in teeth
The location and movement of wisdom teeth
And also screen for oral cancers
So, what’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How do you know how often you should come back? After your exam – we’ll leave you with photos of you gums and teeth to let you know what we’ll be monitoring so you can remember between check-ups. We’ll also let you know when we think it’s best for you to come back – and although we love our patients – we won’t get you back too soon if you don’t need it!
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.
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.