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

Dry Mouth Causes and How to Fix It – Treating Xerostomia

Today we are going to explore dry mouth causes and we will tell you how to fix it!

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?

Dry Mouth Causes

There are many xerostomia or dry mouth causes. These include:

Medications can cause dry mouth

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.

Dehydration

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 substitutes

Saliva substitute like Biotene are great substitute for saliva and offer instantaneous lubrication and
relief.

Keeping hydrated

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 gum

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.

Is your mouth dry as the desert?
Is your mouth dry as the desert? Xerostomia could be the issue… (source: @wolfgang_hasselmann via unsplash.com)

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!

 

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.

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News - What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth
What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? (source: @jontyson via Unsplash)

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:

  • Tooth decay
  • 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!