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:

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.

Root Cause on Netflix – worth a watch?

Root Cause Netflix Documentary – is it worth the watch? A Dentist’s opinion.

Root Cause Netflix Documentary
Root Cause Netflix Documentary (source:

As many people scrolling through Netflix menus would have seen – one of the recommended trending documentaries has been ‘Root Cause’.

The contention of the documentary was that root canal treatment at the dentist not only is ineffective, but can lead to further long-term systemic diseases like cancers, heart disease, chronic fatigue and male impotence. This is based on the ‘focal theory’, which hypothesises that because we cannot kill all bacteria when doing modern root canal treatment, that the resulting chronic inflammation associated with these teeth then leads to the start of those systemic diseases.

Believe it or not, the ‘focal theory’ was actually coined up in the 1920’s by dentist named Weston Price. That’s right, this 100-year-old theory was made before the discovery of penicillin and antibiotics as well as the before the real cause of tooth ache pain was actually discovered in 1945. The reason why Dr. Weston devised this theory was that he noticed a pattern – he noticed that people who came in with dental disease also had poor general health. The big thing to remember is – this is a pattern (or correlation) NOT cause and effect. It’s akin to saying that, compared to people who regularly run marathons, people who don’t run marathons have a higher rate of heart disease – which is true; but really the reason for this is not the marathon itself – it’s the fact that people who don’t run marathons regularly are more likely to be unfit.

It’s actually a very known fact that when dentist do root canals, we cannot remove all the bacteria. The difference in modern dentistry, with modern cleaning agents, is that we’re now very good at killing enough so that the body’s immune system isn’t overwhelmed and can do the rest of the job.

As with any treatment option at Polished Dental though, we realise that at the end of the day it is not our mouth we are working on and that we are here to guide you to make the decision that is right for you. There are always options that are NOT root canal, and if this your opinion, then we will help you with your dental needs.


Tongue Twister Facts!

“Sally sells seas shells by the sea shore” is a common tongue twister that we have all attempted and from experience can be quite tricky manouvering our tongues around! But did you know that our tongue is actually a pretty interesting muscle! Here are some quick tongue twister facts you may or may not of known about your most flexible, strongest muscle in your body!

  • It is the only muscle in our human body that works without any support from our skeleton.
  • The colour of our tongue can actually tell a lot about your health! Pink= Good health, Yellow= Stomach problem and White= Fungal Infection (Grab a mirror- what colour is your tongue?)
  • Only about 2/3rd of your tongue is visible! The third is not visible and is close to the throat.
  • Everybody knows the tongue is where our tastebuds are found but we actually have tastebuds on the inside of our cheeks, rood of our mouth and lips!
  • The phrase girls rule and boys drool may of come about because on average females have shorter tongues than males!
  • We have anywhere from 3000 to 10000 taste buds allowing us to experience salty,sour,bitter, sweet and savoury food and drinks
  • Nick Stoeberl, 26, currently holds the Guinness World Record for world’s longest tongue — a whopping 3.97 inches (10.0838cm) from tip to closed lip. (Sept 14, 2015)

As part of your dental check up our dentists always check the health of your tongue so next time your in ask how it is going and what colour it is!


What to expect at your dental checkup

What happens during a dental checkup and clean? Today the team at Polished will be breaking down what we are actually doing when you come in for a checkup.

Bib and glasses on, chair laid back.. let the fun begin!

Learn more about Polished Dental’s Checkup process.

Dental Checkup at Polished Dental

Step 1: Clinical photographs and x-rays

At Polished we take clinical photographs at your first visit with cheek retractors and a mouth mirror so that instead of us just bombarding you with numbers, long words and telling you what your oral health looks like to us we can show you! We have found it to be fantastic because a lot of the time people don’t know what is actually happening in their mouth, especially for those harder to see areas. By utilising these photographs of your own mouth and putting them up on the computer screen we can go through each tooth individually and explain to you what treatment you may require, where we are watching, showing you the areas you have said cause sensitivity or pain and what options you have available-it allows you to get to know yourself better and always prompts questions! X-rays are taken because no matter how great our eyesight is or our loops (those funny looking magnifying glasses we wear) we are unable to see underneath the gums, the nerve or under existing fillings. We do not take x-rays unless needed as we do prefer to minimise exposure to radiation as much as we can without compromising our treatment.

Step 2: Soft tissue check

Teeth are just a part of maintaining good oral health- we are also keeping an eye on your cheeks, tongue and muscles around your jaw. The dentist will also do an oral cancer check for you and is looking for any unusual lumps, ulcers or tenderness in and around your mouth.

Step 3: Charting

14distal watch, 28 unerupted, 31 occlusal decay, 47mesial palatal composite… These could be a few of those funny numbers and words you hear us calling out with the dentist is checking your teeth. Each number identifies where in the mouth it is located (upper/lower/front or back) and the surface of the tooth we are speaking about (biting surface/cheek side/in between etc) It is important that we accurately record your dentition (teeth) so that each time you come in for a check up we know exactly what part of each tooth needs watching, what restorations (fillings) you currently have or require, what teeth are missing and the alignment of your bite. That scratching you hear is a sickle probe being used it is a very fine instrument that is ideal for picking up defects in the tooth and for feeling around restorations.

Step 4:  Periodontal check

Our gums are the foundations for our teeth and it is essential that they are kept healthy as well. We use a periodontal probe to measure how healthy the gums are and take measurements so we can refer back to them if gum issues are present or arise.

Step 5: Ultrasonic cleaning

That high pitch vibrating feeling is one that people either love or hate. Plaque and Calculus build up on our teeth and no matter how good our brushing and flossing is calculus needs to be removed by a dentist. The ultrasonic scaler we use vibrates and sprays water which allows us to pick off all of the calculus and remove plaque on top of the tooth as well as just under the gum. A handscaler may be used for more stubborn areas and again is one of those scratching noises we love to associate with the dentist.

Step 6: Prophylaxis- Dentist toothpaste!

We use a product called prophy paste which is a lot grittier than regular toothpaste. It is perfect for removing stains and giving you that amazing smooth clean feeling.

Step 7: Fluoride treatment

We highly recommend fluoride to assist in maintaining good oral health so after cleaning your teeth we apply a fluoride treatment. It is a natural mineral that helps build strong teeth and prevents cavities. In Brisbane we do have fluoride in our water and in our toothpaste but the treatment you receive at a dental check up is a higher concentrate and to optimise its effects you will be asked to not rinse or eat for half an hour.

Step 8: Debriefing

At the end of every appointment we always make sure to go over what has been done at the appointment and to make sure we have answered all of your questions! The number one intimidating thing we’ve been told about visiting us is the fear of the unknown- we endeavour to break that cycle.. We love questions and it makes us excited when our patients are interested about our work and their oral health.

Remember we are here to help make the dental checkup as easy for both yourself and your family. Any questions, please ask us!


Why Do Polished Dental Refer to Dental Specialists?

Our practice, Polished Dental Group is a general dental practice where are main focus is to provide a high quality of general dental treatment from preventative to restorative, extractions and minor orthodontics. Each of our dentists have completed a Bachelor of Dentistry through The University of QLD which is a 4 year full time course on general dentistry and have continued to attend lectures and courses regularly to update their knowledge, skills and interests. We do also refer to dental specialists depending on the circumstances. 

“So, why have I received a referral to dental specialists?”  As you can imagine, dentistry is more than just counting and filling teeth!  the knowledge, talent and passion to even do simple procedures is very high and just like with other jobs and careers, some people go on to do further study in areas that interest them or when they’ve discovered a talent in a certain area. General dentistry covers preventative and oral health care, restorative, extractions, endodontics (Root canal therapy), Costmetic procedures, dentures and other removable appliances. Once these extra talented dentists have completed further study in their chosen field they are then given the title of Dental Specialist and are then able to work with and assist our dentists for when a patient presents with a case that is a bit more complicated and outside the realm of general dentistry.

 “What happens now?”  Once referred to the chosen specialist, your records including xrays may be transferred so they are available at your consultation appointment. You will be assessed and provided with the treatment option/s you have available to you, it will then be discussed with you what your ideal outcome is and what needs to be done from there. Specialist treatment can be expensive, but this is because you are requiring and receiving treatment that is more involved and complicated than what we can provide for you here at Polished. Each of the specialists we refer to are very good at giving all costs up front so nothing is hidden or a surprise at the end of treatment and are more than happy to answer any question that you have. After this initial consultation communication is made between their office and ours about what options you have been presented with and how you are choosing to proceed so that we are updated on what treatment you are/arent receiving and when you can return to your regular care at our practice.

“What type of dental specialists do you refer to?”

Below are some of the specialists we refer to:

  1. Endodontist – An endodontist has gone on to do further study in the area of root canal therapy (RCT) and is an expert on addressing issues involving the nerve and dental pulp.
  2. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon- If you have been referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, know that you are in the presence dental royalty! Not only have they completed a Dental degree but also a Medical degree, we refer to them when we have patients requiring difficult extractions, cleft pallet or lip surgery and for facial reconstruction.
  3. Oral Pathologist- Their focus is on the soft tissues in the mouth and are qualified to perform biopsies.
  4. Periodontist- Are the gum gurus of the dental world. Their passion is to prevent, diagnose and treat periodontal (gum) disease. They can also do complex implant cases.
  5. Paediatric Dentist- Despite our best efforts sometimes when children present to us they are just not willing to be cooperative or their dental condition is quite severe or not been treated early enough that they require treatment under general anaesthetic.
  6. Orthodontist- While Sang is able to provide treatment for minor cases of teeth straightening, we have orthodontists who are able to handle the more complex cases where the jaw may require more movement or

“I still have questions?” We understand it can be overwhelming going and seeing somebody new, we try to pre-answer any questions you may have by giving you as much information as we can when we discuss and provide you with the referral. If you find you still have questions you would like answered or even want to come in and have a chat after your consultation with the specialist we are more than happy to sit down with you and make sure you are fully informed about what options you have been provided with.

Lastly, remember when Andrew, Sang or Montana refer you to a specialist- we have chosen them specifically for you as we know that we are putting you in the hands of somebody who excels in their field and that we trust them to treat and care for you as much as we do. Contact us if you have any questions! 

Maintaining Dental Hygiene while Travelling

Travelling the world is a dream for many and there is no better feeling than the excitement of booking the tickets and packing for your trip! Here are a couple of tips to help look after your dental hygiene whilst you’re out creating memories.

Dental Hygiene and Travelling – Six Tips

1: Pack a convenient toiletry bag and keep it in your hand luggage. Sounds simple but if you already are prepared with your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and its able to be accessed easily, you will avoid disruptions to your regular twice a day brushing and flossing. Our Polished bag is a handy size for this and is complimentary when you have a check-up!

2: Don’t rush the brush! Commuting while travelling and hopping on and off planes/trains or tours can be hectic and exhausting but don’t compromise your standard 2minute brushing and flossing routine. This should be a staple in your daily tasks just like showering and eating.

3: Dietary choices. Obviously, you are wanting to indulge a little whilst travelling/on holidays and we are guilty of this as well as its one of our favourite parts of travelling! Ensure you carry a water bottle with you to rinse out your mouth after sampling local treats and be conscious to still be eating fresh fruit and vegetables when possible.

4: Stay hydrated! Dehydration is common especially on long flights. A dry mouth is a fantastic environment for bacteria to grow on the tooth and this can lead to cavities. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and make sure your sipping on it regularly, sugar free chewing gum is great to carry with you also as the action of chewing stimulates our salivary glands.

5: Have a Dental check-up before you leave and ensure your travel insurance includes dental. There is no worse feeling than being away from home and having a tooth break or a toothache. Not only can it impact your day but can impact your wallet.

6: Have fun and tell us all about it at your next visit! Our staff enjoy travelling and would like to hear of the adventures you have been on to inspire us for our own travels!