Give Your Kids a Gift That Will Last for Life – Establishing a “Dental Home”

If you have a young child, you probably take then to see a great family doctor regularly to ensure they are healthy, but what about seeing a dentist? Establishing a “dental home” is essential for a healthy smile and helps to set the stage for enjoying good dental health for life. Ideally, a child should see a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth and certainly by age one.

Early dental visits form an important part of a preventative dental care plan. When we first see a very young child, we can gently examine their mouth, often while they sit on mum or dad’s lap, to make sure their teeth and jaws are developing as they should. We can provide a wealth of additional information for parents, including how to brush those precious first teeth. If needed, we can give dietary advice and other preventative treatments such as topical fluoride applications to increase resistance to tooth decay.

Regular ongoing preventative care, including dental checkups, ensure any problems are diagnosed sooner when treatment is less invasive and quicker, so it is easier for a child to tolerate. As children get older, we work with them directly, ensuring they grow up with an excellent dental education, so they know exactly how to care for their teeth and why it is so important.

Are You Smiling About Your Fresh Breath?

Knowing your breath is fresh is a terrific confidence booster, and it is easy to get and maintain sweet-smelling breath. Follow these easy steps to ensure you can smile about your fresh, clean mouth.

  • Brush and Floss More Frequently

Sticky dental plaque soon builds up over tooth surfaces and contains bacteria that cause bad breath. Food trapped between teeth soon starts to rot, worsening bad breath. Ensure you brush your teeth at least twice daily to remove plaque and don’t forget to floss once-a-day.

  • Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash can freshen breath but choose a brand that helps your oral health too. Otherwise, the effect is merely cosmetic.  Look for a mouthwash with antimicrobial properties and which preferably contains fluoride.

  • Clean Your Tongue

Have you ever noticed your tongue has a white coating? This can contain smelly bacteria, so gently brushing your tongue will help to freshen your breath. Use your toothbrush, or ideally buy a special tongue scraper as they only cost a few dollars. A tongue scraper applies pressure evenly across your tongue, removing bacteria, dead skin cells and food debris.

Some foods, most notably onions and garlic will give you smelly breath but brushing afterwards will only temporarily freshen your breath. You will not eliminate the smell until these foods have been digested, have entered your bloodstream and are breathed out through the lungs.

How Can Vitamin D Help Protect Oral Health?

Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth and gums. It helps your body to regulate phosphorus and calcium levels and can help it to absorb these minerals more easily. Ensuring you receive adequate vitamin D can help decrease gum inflammation, a problem associated with gum disease and which is a common cause of tooth loss. Also, vitamin D can help reduce the rate of tooth decay as one study discovered that children who received a vitamin D supplement daily had fewer cavities compared with children who didn’t receive the supplement.

If you have an excellent oral care routine but have still faced problems recently with tooth decay, it could be worth seeing your doctor, to discuss a possible vitamin D deficiency. A straightforward blood test can reveal if your levels are low, and your doctor can advise you as to how much you need to supplement your vitamin D levels each day. There are ways you can get vitamin D naturally and one is to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day without sunblock, making sure your face and arms are exposed. Otherwise, you can try eating foods high in vitamin D such as oily fish, dairy products and eggs. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D including some cereals.

Recovering from Sugar Cravings: How to Clean off the Sweet Stuff

Most of us know eating sugar is bad for teeth, but what can you do if you have a sweet tooth? We’ve listed a few easy tips to help cope with sweet cravings without causing cavities.

Brush Frequently

You probably know this already, but it really does work. One thing that can be helpful is to pack a travel toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste so that you can quickly clean your teeth after eating a sweet treat during the day.

Choose the Right Toothbrush

If you do eat a lot of sweets, you may have more plaque buildup than average so it’s important to make sure your toothbrush bristles can reach right in hard to clean nooks and crannies. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and make sure you use the right brushing technique. We can help you if you need any advice.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash can be useful for removing more sugar and sticky residue and if possible, choose one containing fluoride. Otherwise, even rinsing your mouth with plain water after eating can help.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum after eating something sweet stimulate saliva flow and helps to remove any sugar that is coating your teeth. The additional saliva also helps reduce acidity more quickly.

New Year’s Resolutions That’ll Make You Smile

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Many of us do but fail to stick to them for more than a week or two. Instead of making resolutions that are perhaps too ambitious, why not consider resolving to take better care of your teeth and gums this year?

Book a Dental Appointment

If it has been a while since you came to see us here at Casey Dental, make sure you book a dental appointment as it’s the easiest and the best thing you can do to help care for your mouth. It’s especially important to see a dentist if you have any signs or symptoms such as bleeding gums or tooth sensitivity or discomfort.

Commit to Flossing Daily

Regularly brushing won’t remove plaque and food buildup from between your teeth which is why you need to floss every day. If you aren’t in the habit of flossing, the New Year is a great time to start and make sure you put your dental floss somewhere you can remember to use it regularly.

Kick the Tobacco Habit

If you smoke and have already resolved to quit, use improving your oral health as an added incentive. Smokers are at twice the risk of developing gum disease not to mention a whole host of other nasty diseases including oral cancer.

How to Snack Smarter

Some people find regularly snacking helps them maintain better energy levels, and if this applies to you, then it’s worth learning how to snack smarter.

Choose Snacks That Are Rich in Calcium

Many people fail to get enough calcium in their diet, so choosing snacks that are rich in this mineral can be a great way to top up. Good snacks include low-fat yoghurt or almonds. Alternatively mix fresh fruit with cottage cheese for a snack that contains carbohydrate, protein and fat.

Eat More Fruit and Veggies

It can be tricky to eat enough fruit and vegetables throughout the day, so try choosing a crunchy apple or carrot or celery sticks. These can be even tastier when paired with yoghurt or hummus. As a bonus, these fruits and veggies are packed with fibre which has a slight scrubbing action on teeth.

Use Healthy Snacks to Kill Unhealthy Cravings

If you have a lust for something salty, instead of choosing crisps, try shelled edamame which contains lots of protein and fibre and is low in calories. For a sweet treat, mix cocoa powder and honey into a paste and blend with low-fat milk to make a hot chocolate that contains plenty of nutrients and antioxidants and it’s a good source of protein.

The Holidays Are a Great Time for a Mouth Manicure

Most people like to keep their nails neat and tidy and well-manicured, and it’s a great idea to do the same for your mouth. A mouth manicure ensures it always looks its best. This year, why not use the holidays to overhaul your oral hygiene routine with these three easy tips.

Take Better Care of Your Tongue

Your tongue harbours large amounts of bacteria, contributing to bad breath. Yet, when most people clean their teeth, they neglect to clean their tongue. Some toothbrushes have a built-in tongue scraper, or you can buy a special tongue scraper very inexpensively.

Choose Good Quality Toothpaste

We know there are a plethora of toothpaste brands available, many of which rely on cool branding and packaging. However, all you need is good quality fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride helps to protect your teeth against plaque and tooth decay.

Keep on Flossing

Toothbrushing is great, but it cannot clean between your teeth, and for this, you need dental floss. Daily flossing is the most effective way to clean between your teeth and around the gum line where plaque builds up. Not sure how to floss? Ask us for help and advice next time you have your checkup here at Casey Dental.

How to Protect Your Smile This Christmas

Christmas is such a fantastic time of year but increased alcohol consumption combined with sugary treats can make it a tricky time for teeth. Follow our simple strategies for better oral health, reducing the risk of needing emergency dental care.

  1. Eat less sugar as this feeds plaque bacteria in your mouth, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Also, sugar is often hidden in foods like dried fruits and fruit juices. When you do have a sweet treat, make sure it’s something you love rather than eating something to be polite!
  2. Drink more water and less alcohol, as alcohol dries out the mouth and too much increases the risk of tripping or falling, potentially knocking out or chipping your teeth. When you do drink alcohol, reduce its impact by drinking plenty of water at the same time.
  3. Christmas is a time for wrapping and unwrapping presents and packages but make sure you use the proper tools instead of your teeth. The same goes for opening bottles or cracking nuts as these activities can easily damage your pearly whites.
  4. If you are keen on sports, ask us about a custom-made mouthguard. A custom mouthguard can reduce the severity of any sporting injuries and may prevent teeth from becoming chipped or broken, or worse, knocked out.

Have You Been Naughty or Nice to Your Teeth? How to Protect Your Dental Health This Silly Season

If you’re like us, you’re probably excited about the upcoming festivities, but spare a thought for your teeth as they often have to work overtime during the holidays. This year, why not think creatively about healthy advent calendars or how you can pay better attention to your mouth.

Advent Calendars

Advent calendars don’t need to be filled with sweets and chocolate. Instead, why not replace sweets with small trinkets from the dollar store, or make a list of fun activities for the whole family. Write each activity on a separate slip so they can be tucked into the advent calendar, ready for a child to find. Nothing beats a good Christmas story, so purchase and wrap up a few bedtime books for your child to open. You can read the book together at bedtime.

Tips for Adult Teeth

Alcohol consumption generally rises during Christmas, but it can increase the risk of dry mouth, meaning bacteria aren’t washed away so effectively. When enjoying a drink, make sure you swish your mouth regularly with water and keep well hydrated. Although the holidays are a time for indulgence, it’s also good to practice moderation and especially if you are trying to set a good example for kids. When loading your plate with Christmas goodies, be sure to include foods that are nutritious before moving onto the treats.

Regularly Exercising Provide Significant Long-Term Benefits

Building and sticking to a regular exercise regime can be tricky at first, but it’s worth persevering as exercise provides numerous long-term benefits. Many people find exercising energising, and especially when they feel fitter and stronger, and there are other significant benefits too.

Regularly exercising can:

  • Help with weight control or aid weight loss
  • Reduce your risk of Type II diabetes, some cancers and heart disease
  • Improve your muscle and bone strength, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life
  • Improve your overall mood and mental health
  • Increase agility so daily tasks are easier and you are less likely to have a fall
  • Help you to live a longer and healthier life

Consistency is important as it’s critical to exercise regularly. You don’t need to work out every day and especially if you take vigorous exercise as rest days are important. Strenuous exercise isn’t right for everyone, and even a thirty-minute brisk daily walk can provide enormous health benefits. If it has been a while since you last exercised regularly, make sure you take it slowly and consult your GP before beginning a new exercise regime. One common mistake is to exercise too hard, resulting in an injury that can prevent any physical activity.