Health Tips for Kids Going Back to School

As the kids get ready to go back to school, here are a few tips to help them have a healthy and happy start to the term.
• Walk to school, if possible as there are lots of benefits of daily exercise. It can help improve concentration and can increase self-confidence, and physical activity leads to stronger muscles and bones.
• Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, as this is vital for their growth and development. Children aged 3 to 5 need between 10 and 13 hours each night, while children aged 6 to 13 need 9 to 11 hours every night. Set an age-appropriate bedtime and stick to it, even on weekends.
• Pack a healthy lunch for your child that is loaded with nutritious foods like cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, yoghurt, whole grain crackers and sandwiches.
• Ease back-to-school nerves by making sure your child arrives on time and that you collect them on time. When children are late, it can increase anxiety. After school, spend some time chatting with your child and provide them with a healthy snack.
• Head lice are a common problem amongst kids, so tie back long hair and remind your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other children. Check their head regularly for any signs of these itchy pests.

Fun Oral Health Activities for Kids

Children learn through play, so try these fun dental activities that will teach them about oral care.
Tooth Necklace
Make a drawing of a tooth on cardboard, approximately 4 cm x 4 cm and use this as a template so children can make 20 teeth (children have 20 primary teeth) using brightly coloured paper. Take a child’s plastic needle and thread it with dental floss and show your child how to string the teeth into a necklace, securing the ends with a knot. Discuss why we need to floss our teeth.
Eat This but Avoid That
Cut out lots of photos of food from magazines, including healthy and unhealthy foods. Take two paper bags and draw a picture of a happy tooth on one and a sad tooth on the other. With your child, work out which foods should go in each bag and discuss why diet is important for healthy teeth.
Personalised Envelopes for the Tooth Fairy
As your child loses their milk teeth, they can personalise an envelope to leave out for the tooth fairy. Suggest they draw the tooth fairy and write a letter to include with their tooth, in return for a small gift!

Get Kids Excited about Tooth Brushing with an Incentive Chart

It’s challenging to try to get children to brush for longer than 30 seconds, let alone the full two minutes, and then there is the issue of getting them to brush at least twice a day! Making it into a fun activity can help considerably, so why not try an incentive chart?
Make a simple template on the computer with a space for your child’s name and list the days of the week below. Include a tick box to check they have brushed their teeth morning and night. Get your child involved in choosing the colours and design as you want to make it as fun and as interesting as possible. You can also find pre-made templates online. Once printed, the template can be placed in a glass frame, and you can use a dry-erase marker to fill it in each week. Alternatively, you can print out a fresh sheet every week so you can both look back and see how well your kid is doing.
Decide with your child on their reward, whether that’s with a special treat or activity after successfully checking all the tick boxes for the week.

Age Well with a Healthy Mouth

As you age, it’s even more crucial to look after your dental health. Poor oral health can negatively affect your quality of life and even overall health. Common problems experienced later in life include tooth loss and tooth decay, gum disease (periodontal disease), and dry mouth (xerostomia).

How Ageing Can Affect Your Dental and General Health

If your teeth aren’t in great shape, it can affect your ability to chew food properly. This can impact your diet, and without adequate nutrition, your general health may be compromised. Gum disease is a frequent problem and is closely linked to many chronic health conditions, including respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As you age, it’s more likely that you may need prescription medications. Many of these can cause dry mouth. When your mouth isn’t moist enough, it increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

How We Can Help You

Every patient visiting Casey Dental is provided with a personalised treatment plan. This plan is regularly updated to account for any changes to your oral health or general health and will help counteract the effects of ageing. We cannot hold back the years, but regular preventative dental care will help you to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy mouth.

Did You Know Sensitive Teeth Can be Treated?

Eating ice cream or having a sip of hot coffee is no fun when it causes tooth pain. Sometimes even brushing or flossing your teeth is enough to make you wince. If this sounds familiar, you may have sensitive teeth, where hot and cold sensations reach your tooth nerve more easily.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused by untreated tooth decay or fractured teeth, or even fillings that are worn and crumbling. Gum disease exposes sensitive tooth roots. Sometimes tooth enamel can become worn, allowing temperature changes to reach the nerve in your tooth more easily.

How We Can Help You

The first step is to visit our dentist here at Casey Dental. We can examine your teeth to make sure the sensitivity isn’t caused by a dental problem, and if needed, can provide appropriate treatment. It could be that mending a tooth or replacing the filling is all that’s required. Otherwise, professional applications of fluoride could help to strengthen your tooth enamel, blocking unwanted sensations. Using toothpaste for sensitive teeth will help to reduce sensitivity by blocking the transmission of sensations to the tooth nerve. Usually, you will need to use this toothpaste the several weeks as the effects are cumulative.

How the Winter Weather Can Affect Your Teeth

Have you noticed that breathing in the cold air makes your teeth hurt? This is because the inner part of your tooth called the dentine may be exposed. Dentine is usually protected by tooth enamel and consists of microscopic tubules. When exposed, these tubules allow sensations to travel to the nerve in your dental pulp, right in the centre of your tooth. If you’ve noticed your teeth have become seasonally sensitive, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Brushing your teeth too vigorously can wear down your tooth enamel, exposing the dentine.
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth during your sleep also wears down tooth enamel and can frequently cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Consuming acidic beverages will gradually erode tooth enamel. These beverages include fruit juice, fizzy drinks, coffee and tea, and wine.
  • Tooth decay is a common cause of sensitivity, so if the pain is localised, come and see us as we can mend the tooth.
  • Teeth whitening agents can harm enamel when misused. If you do wish to whiten your teeth, ask us about professional dental treatments which are far safer and more effective.

Why We Love Our Mums: Oral Health and Pregnancy

While most mums-to-be will take enormous care of general health during pregnancy, oral care can often take a back seat. However, it is critical to look after your teeth and gums during pregnancy, and routine dental care is perfectly safe. We will make sure all treatments provided will not harm your baby.

Book Your Checkup

If you are planning on adding to your family or are already pregnant, come and see us straightaway and make sure we know you are pregnant. It is critical to ensure your teeth and gums are in great shape. Because gums are more sensitive to dental plaque, it increases the risk of pregnancy gingivitis, where your gums will bleed more frequently and could look red and swollen. We can help you with this condition by providing more frequent professional dental cleanings, and it is essential to make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness exposes your teeth to strong stomach acid that softens tooth enamel. Afterwards, rinse your mouth with water but wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth. Lightly smearing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste can help protect them, or otherwise rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

Top Tips to Ensure Busy Mums Have Great Smiles

If you are a mum, then you probably put your needs after those of your family, but it is essential to care for yourself and particularly to look after your oral health. Because of hormonal changes that take place throughout life, women can be more vulnerable to developing oral health problems, including gum disease. Hormones can also affect the bones, causing bone thinning or osteoporosis in older women. Follow our easy tips to ensure your smile remains strong and healthy.

  • Drink more water. Keep some cooling in the fridge and make sure you always have a refillable bottle with you.
  • Carry a travel toothbrush with you and some dental floss. That way when you have a moment, you can freshen up wherever you are.
  • If you can’t brush, chew sugar-free gum, preferably containing xylitol which kills mouth bacteria.
  • Make smarter snack choices by choosing cheese or by keeping plenty of ready washed and sliced fruits and vegetables.
  • Don’t forget to floss every day as otherwise, you’ll be leaving a third of your tooth surfaces uncleaned. It only takes a couple of minutes to floss thoroughly but if you’d like some more tips just ask our friendly dental team.

Even Children Who Brush Regularly Can Still Get Cavities

We know that most parents are meticulous when it comes to caring for their children’s teeth which is why it can be extremely distressing if your child develops tooth decay. But, tooth decay in kids can be caused by different reasons other than poor dental care.

A study discovered that children’s teeth develop differently and that children who have tooth decay could have tooth enamel that is thinner and less dense. These teeth, called hypoplastic teeth are less resistant to tooth decay, and this could be due to diet during pregnancy. Apparently, our modern diet has less fat-soluble vitamins A, K2 and D, and E, and coenzyme Q 10. These vitamins are essential for healthy tooth development. Also, more women over age 20 are lacking in calcium which is essential for building healthy teeth and bones. Another problem is that many so-called healthy foods have hidden sugars, so it is worth reading food labels.

When we see a child with good oral hygiene but who has cavities, we can analyse their diet, and if needed can make suggestions on how to make it more tooth friendly. Also, professional topical applications of fluoride may be useful.

How to Enjoy Your Easter Chocolate and be Cavity-Free Too

With Easter just around the corner, chocolate treats are everywhere. While most people know that eating too much chocolate will ruin their diet, it’s easy to forget the potential effect on teeth. Whenever you eat foods that are sweet or starchy, your mouth bacteria use the excess sugars to create energy, producing a weak acid that erodes tooth enamel. Repeated exposure to these acids eventually causes cavities. However, by protecting your teeth against excessive exposure to these acids, you can reduce your risk of tooth decay, and the really good news is that you can still enjoy a few Easter goodies.

Chocolate Is Better for Your Teeth

Because it melts so easily, chocolate leaves less residue over your teeth and is far better than choosing sticky toffee or caramel. Also, avoid sweets that are very acidic or sour.

Don’t Graze on Sweet Treats

It may be fun to snack on sweet treats, but it’s terrible for your teeth because they are continually exposed to acid produced by your mouth bacteria. It’s far better to indulge as a part of a main meal and afterwards, eat something like a crunchy apple or carrot because the high fibre content has a slight scouring action on your teeth.  Finish your meal by rinsing your mouth with water and wait at least half an hour before brushing because initially your tooth enamel is softer due to exposure to acids and it will gradually re-harden as pH levels begin to normalise.