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It’s All About Baby Teeth

Your baby’s first teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth.  These tiny teeth help your baby chew and speak and they hold space in the gums for the permanent teeth.

These ‘baby teeth’, or ‘primary teeth’ start forming inside the gums before birth, and usually erupt at around 6 months old, but they can erupt a lot earlier or later than this too.  Usually by about 2-3 years of age, a toddler will have all 20 primary teeth.

Your baby’s first dental visit should be at about 12 months, so we can have a look at the tooth eruption progress, and check on oral hygiene, and diet, and answer any questions you might have.  Even if we don’t get a look inside, this first visit is a very important one.

Teething Truths

Teething’ refers to the eruption of baby teeth, which is usually accompanied by some degree of discomfort and irritability.  Some signs and symptoms include:

  • Frequent crying and crankiness
  • A mild fever
  • Reddened cheeks and drooling
  • Mild diarrhoea
  • Sucking or gnawing on toys or anything!
  • Pulling the ear on the same side as the erupting tooth

To help relieve teething discomfort, some recommendations include:

  • Wash your hands then gently rub baby’s gums with your finger
  • Use a fridge chilled teething ring for baby to chew on or wet washcloth to bite
  • Non-sweetened rusks
  • NEVER give aspirin to a baby or child
  • Speak to a pharmacist before using any pain relief medications for babies

What about thumb sucking?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex in babies and toddlers, and most lose interest in it by the time they are 2 to 4 years old.

However, children who continue to suck their thumb or fingers after their permanent teeth have erupted can develop quite crooked teeth and even jaw development changes which can cause speech defects also.

Some suggestions to help stop thumb sucking include:

  • Wrap strapping tape around the digit that is sucked
  • Nail biting liquid
  • Chili!

Are Dummies Any Better?

If dummies are allowed to be used into the permanent teeth stage, then they will have the same outcome as prolonged sucking of thumbs and fingers.

However, the best thing about a dummy is that it can be removed forever before 12 months ideally, and the todd

ler easily forgets about it in a few days.  Even at 2 to 4 years old, a dummy can be ‘given to Santa’ or ‘given to the Easter Bunny’ or even ‘given to the rubbish truck!’ Then they are gone forever, and the toddler can then move on.

Good Habits for Life, Good Teeth for Life

Decay is just as much a risk in babies and toddlers as in children and adults, so caring for your baby’s teeth needs to begin at birth.  To make sure your child has healthy teeth for life, make sure you establish good oral hygiene habits early.

How to Brush Your Baby’s Teeth

Baby’s very first teeth can be wiped with a cloth, or brushed with a special toothbrush for babies which has a very small head and rounded bristles to gently massage their teeth and gums.  This should be done once a day until 18 months old, with no toothpaste, just fluoridated tap water.  The bath is often a fun place for this.

Once your toddler is about 2 years old, twice a day brushing should be introduced, as well as special age appropriate low-fluoride toothpaste. Just a smear is all you need.

Only use toothpaste once your little one can spit out.  Also make sure all toothpaste is stored out of reach of small children, as some love the taste, and will eat it.  This will cause fluorosis in the secondary teeth which can be quite disfiguring.

Teaching Toddlers to Brush

Teaching toddlers to brush can be very challenging!  Many are fiercely independent. But at about 4 to 5 years old, a team approach is often needed, combining the efforts of both you and your little one. Maybe your child ‘starts’ and you ’finish’, or maybe they brush in the morning and you brush each night.  Children do not have the dexterity or skills to properly clean their own teeth until about 8 years of age.

Position yourself behind your child, facing the bathroom sink/mirror with their head tilted back onto your body so you can see into their mouth.

  • Ensure you have an age appropriate sized toothbrush that is not too big
  • Only a smear of toothpaste
  • Brush gently from the gums onto the teeth always
  • Avoid side to side scrubbing as it damages teeth and gums
  • Start on the front surfaces at the back on one side, and slowly work around to the other side
  • Then do the same on the inside surfaces by tilting the toothbrush
  • Then do little circles across the chewing/grinding surfaces
  • Now repeat for the other arch of teeth
  • It helps to ask your child to let their lips ‘go floppy’, as children often tighten their mouth which makes brushing very difficult
  • Brushing should take 2 minutes

Disclosing Pink Fun

Disclosing tablets or liquid are a fun way to help you see how you are going with your brushing technique.  When you chew them, they stain plaque that is left on your teeth bright pink!

We use them to show our patients where plaque lurks. We also send them home with our patients so they can test themselves, and sometimes have competitions with their brothers and sisters and parents to see who cleans their teeth the best!

Your dentist or chemist will always have them.

When to start flossing?

As soon as your little one has 2 teeth together, they need to floss.  However it is usually more practical to begin at about two and a half.  Flossing is necessary because bacteria that cause tooth decay hide between teeth and cannot be brushed away, so must be removed by floss to avoid decay, and keep gums healthy.

  • Flossing must be done gently or it will hurt.
  • Floss up and down to the gum between all teeth.
  • Try either conventional floss, or disposable flossers which are often easier.

Trouble Shooting

 Resistance to teeth cleaning? Struggling to sit still for 2 minutes or at all? Flossing….are you kidding!!

  • Try an electric toothbrush. This adds a bit of fun, and some have music!
  • Try in the bath and add distractions of other toys while you brush. It works!
  • Sing nursery rhymes or play a favourite song while you help with brushing
  • Offer a reward for every successful 2 minute brushing session
  • Let your child ‘start’ the brushing and you ‘finish’ it
  • Try to make brushing and flossing as much fun as possible, and avoid any negative association
  • Set a good example and brush your teeth with them


When I tell most patients they need to have a root canal treatment, they grimace, and frown, and shudder, and look scared.  This is my cue to explain what root canal treatment is really all about!  It’s rarely what people think or have heard.

Many dentists don’t like to do root canal treatments, as it is very challenging work, and it requires long sessions with painstaking care and detail.  So many dentists refer root canal treatments off to specialists to complete, at a much higher cost to the patient.  But I love the challenge of the root canal treatment!!  Every tooth is different and a little puzzle in itself to solve.

I also enjoy helping my patients relax before and during the the root canal treatment.  I find that if I explain carefully the steps involved, and what the patients will expect to feel and smell etc., then they are much less anxious going in to the procedure.  In fact, as each session is quite long, and the work is quite gentle, I have had several patients fall asleep during root canal treatment!

I have great nurses, and great equipment for root canal treatments, and these make my job so much easier and more enjoyable too.

Common Questions about root canal surgery:

Q. How do I know if I need a root canal treatment?
A. You can’t really know until your dentist has done a series of tests on your teeth to prove a tooth requires a root canal treatment. But usually it will be an option after a very severe tooth ache, or swelling caused by a tooth.

Q. How do I keep my mouth open for long periods of time?
A. We have rubber blocks which are used to prop the mouth open and rest jaw muscles. These make it much easier for our patients to fall asleep!

Q. How long does root canal treatment take?
A. From start to finish it usually takes 2 to 3 visits over about 3 months.

Q. Does root canal treatment hurt?
A. Not usually. The tooth is numbed for the first visit as a precaution, then on subsequent visits, we usually don’t need to numb the tooth. This is why patients can fall asleep during treatment!



Back in 2015 a new health campaign launched encouraging Victorians to swap sugary drinks for water for 30 days – here at Dobson Dental we want a relaunch!
The aim of this campaign was to show that a small change can start to make a difference to your waistline, wallet and your smile. This campaign was given the name ‘The H30 Challenge’, VicHealth asked people to make a 30- day pledge to replace every sugary drink whether it be flavoured water, sports drinks, energy drinks, cordial, cola or juice with the good stuff, plain still water. VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter, said the H30 Challenge is a remarkably simple way to improve health.

“This is about making small lifestyle changes that will benefit Victorians long-term,” Ms Rechter said.

Sugar sweetened beverages are the largest source of sugars in the Australian diet and high intake of these sugary drinks are associated with poorer health outcomes, such as increased risk of weight gain and increased risk of tooth decay.

With nearly two-thirds of Victorians currently overweight or obese, reducing intake of excess kilojoules through drinks is one way to promote a healthier diet and improved health.

While we encourage all Victorians to drink more water, there is a particular focus on 18 to 34 year-olds, who are some of the highest consumers of sugary drinks.

“Participants may be surprised at just how much sugar these drinks contain. One 600mL bottle of regular soft drink can contain 16 teaspoons of sugar. So if you drink one a day, that’s almost 23 kilograms of sugar a year,” Ms Rechter added.

Nutritionist Lola Berry is lending her support to the campaign. She says the 30-day H30 Challenge is a great way for people to take small steps towards stamping out harmful habits formed over a lifetime.

Making water your main drink of choice is one of the best things a person can do for good long-term health,” Ms Berry said.
“Reducing sugary drinks and drinking more water helps to maintain a healthy weight, thereby reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes and other serious health conditions. Drinking water is also a no-brainer for fighting tooth decay, especially considering most of Victoria’s tap water contains fluoride. Another bonus is that drinking water can also save you money.”

Here at Dobson Dental we would love everyone to give this a go, it’ll be easier than you think – we promise. Sign up online at www.h30challenge.com.au, choose a start date convenient to you, switch sugary drinks for water for 30 days and then start reaping those rewards. It’s a win/win situation, they even send you regular e-mails of encouragement. Or if you don’t fancy signing up, maybe you think 30 days is too long for you in particular, why don’t you try 10 days? Then the following month 20 days etc. Why don’t you get your whole workforce involved and feel healthier as a team?

For more information or to sign up visit www.h30challenge.com.au

References

Victorian Dentist – December 2015
www.vichealth.vic.gov.au
www.mysportslink.net



So what is water fluoridation I hear you ask? It is simply the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that helps protect teeth against decay. Can I taste the difference at all between water with fluoride and without? No, adding fluoride does not alter the taste or smell of water, no matter what you think.

Here in Victoria, the maximum level of fluoride in drinking water is 1 milligram per litre (mg/L), or 1 part per million (ppm), as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a comparison, the amount of fluoride in children’s toothpaste is 400–500 ppm and regular toothpaste is 1,000 ppm.

What is fluoride exactly? It’s a naturally occurring compound found in plants and rocks. It is also found at very low levels in almost all fresh water. It occurs naturally at a beneficial level in the local water supplies of some Victorian communities. Sea water has approximately the same fluoride level as that used in community fluoridation programs.
So now you know what it is, let Dobson Dental tell you how it works. Tooth decay occurs when acid destroys the outer surface of the tooth. The acid is produced by bacteria in the mouth from food and drinks containing sugar. Fluoride works by helping to strengthen the mineral structure of teeth, it acts like a repair kit, repairing the early stages of tooth decay before it becomes permanent.

 

Are there many benefits at all to water fluoridation? Community water fluoridation helps to protect teeth against decay in people of all ages, from young to older people. It’s a fair way of delivering the benefits of fluoride to the community, regardless of individual age, education, income or motivation.

Wait, is there any evidence to support this? Yes, actually there are numerous studies and reviews that have confirmed the effectiveness of water fluoridation. Researchers from the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH) have presented results from a study that examined the effectiveness of water fluoridation on children’s dental health across four Australian states – Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

5–6-year-old children who have lived for more than half their lives in areas with water fluoridation have 50 per cent less tooth decay in their baby teeth than children who have not lived in areas with water fluoridation. 12–13-year-old children who have lived for more than half their lives in areas with water fluoridation have 38 per cent less tooth decay in their adult teeth than children who have not lived in areas with water fluoridation.

Water fluoridation is not just for children. A recently published study was based on data collected from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health 2004–06. Dental examinations of 5,505 adults from around Australia found significantly less decay experience in adults who drink fluoridated water.

Prevention is still necessary! Water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste have contributed to a dramatic reduction in tooth decay in Australian children, but decay levels have been rising again since the mid-1990s. By the age of six, more than half of Australian children have already had tooth decay.

Increasing rates of tooth decay in Australia may possibly be because changes in diet or people drinking more soft drinks. It is important to maintain recommended fluoride levels in water to ensure that rates of tooth decay do not increase significantly.

Tooth decay is still a significant problem in Victoria. In 2013–14, more than 4,400 children under the age of 10, including 193 two year olds and 694 four year olds, required general anaesthetics in hospital for treatment of dental decay. In Victoria, 95 per cent of all preventable dental admissions to hospital for 0–9 year olds are due to dental decay.
Here at Dobson Dental we can’t stress enough how important it is to look after teeth throughout your life, as good dental health has a direct impact on overall health. Severe tooth decay can affect appearance, self-esteem and social interaction. It can also affect the ability to eat and chew, which in turn can affect general health. In children, if baby teeth are lost too early because of decay, their adult teeth may not develop in the correct position, creating dental complications later in life.

How do Melbourne Water get the fluoride into my drinking water? Fluoride is added to drinking water supplies at the water treatment plant via a carefully controlled and monitored process. Monitoring also occurs at the tap to ensure compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. The fluoride plants are incorporated into the water treatment plant’s risk management plan and are managed in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003.

Is it just Victoria who have a water fluoridation community? Nope, this process is carried out internationally in countries such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and the US. Globally, more than 350 million people benefit from community water fluoridation programs. More than 50 million people benefit from naturally fluoridated water at optimal levels to prevent tooth decay. In February 2008, England’s Department of Health provided £42 million to extend water fluoridation over the next three years. In the US, water fluoridation was initiated in 1945 and the number of communities and people who benefit from it is continuing to increase. In 2012, 74.6 per cent of the US population on public water systems, or 211 million people, had access to fluoridated water.

We know what you’re thinking now, one last question? Is water fluoridation safe? Yes! Systematic reviews from health authorities around the world consistently find that water fluoridation does not cause harmful effects.

According to academic clinicians from the Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, there is no clinical or scientific evidence that fluoridation causes allergies or affects immunity at the optimal 1 mg/L. Specifically, they state ‘ … during the past 25 years, whether in Melbourne or in the UK, we have never seen a patient with any respiratory symptoms nor any allergy like symptoms that could be attributed to fluoride at 1ppm [1 mg/L] as in our fluoridated water’.

Kidney Health Australia recommends water as the fluid of choice to satisfy thirst and has stated ‘there is no evidence that consumption of optimally fluoridated water poses any health risks to people with chronic kidney disease, although only limited studies addressing this issue are available’. Importantly, Kidney Health Australia has not called for the cessation of water fluoridation.

An Australian review in 2008 found there is a significant body of evidence demonstrating that the consumption of optimally fluoridated water is not associated with cancer risk. Also, medical specialists confirm there is no credible evidence of a link between water fluoridation and thyroid disease, stating ‘ …there is no scientifically acceptable evidence that fluoridation increases the incidence of thyroid disease’.

So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, we hope that has covered all your need to know questions surrounding water fluoridation, if not, just ask when your next in visiting us at Dobson Dental.

References
www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/water/water-fluoridation/fluoride-information
Victorian Dentist publication – December 2015



So you’ve never been 100% happy with your smile, you’ve thought about veneers but never known which path to head down? Well it’s your lucky day, read no further, Dobson Dental has got it sorted.

This procedure is one of the most popular treatments for changing the overall appearance of your smile, and they’re incredibly effective. While most people think of veneers as a single treatment, there are actually several different types of veneers available. These range for higher-end permanent solutions like porcelain veneers to temporary cosmetic solutions like snap on veneers.

Here we’ll look at the most common kinds of veneers and the pros and cons of each.

Composite Veneers are one of the most common treatment options, composite veneers are applied and sculpted during your appointment with us. They are typically used to fix small cosmetic issues, such as chipped or cracked teeth, but they can be used to fix slightly crooked teeth or to fill small gaps between front teeth.

Composites are substantially cheaper than the likes of porcelain veneers, and involve a far shorter treatment period. The treatment can usually be completed in a single visit, although it may be a longer appointment than normal.

The downside is that the finish often isn’t as good as you would get from porcelain veneers, and they aren’t as resistant to staining and discolouration. Regular polishing can keep them looking great, and as long as your daily dental hygiene is good they should last a long time.

Next up we have, porcelain Veneers. These are usually the most expensive option, but the transformative effect they can have on a person’s smile makes them well worth the investment. The treatment will involve multiple appointments, with the initial preparation work being done with your dentist and the creation of the veneers taking place at the dental laboratory.

They are created specifically for your unique set of teeth and will be custom tailored to your individual tooth colour and shape. They are resistant to staining and are the ideal solution to more severe discolouration, chips or cracks, and they generally last much longer than other types of veneers.

The downside is the expense, which is much higher than other types of veneer. Porcelain veneers also require much more initial preparatory work and usually require some drilling and reshaping of your original teeth underneath. Repairing and replacing damaged porcelain veneers can also be more expensive and time-consuming than other veneers.

Now we have instant veneers, these are somewhere between porcelain and composite veneers. They involve the dentist applying a pre-made veneer to your teeth, rather than a custom made one. There are multiple different styles and shades available based on the commonly accepted best look for teeth, we will match the style and shade to your own teeth.

This treatment is far less expensive than porcelain veneers as the lab fees are removed and the process can usually be completed in a single visit. The pre-made veneers also mean you’re not relying on the ability of your dentist to sculpt the tooth like you would with composites.

The downside it that you’re not getting a custom made veneer, but for the most part the aesthetic results will be largely similar. While instant veneers are fairly stain resistant, you won’t get the same long term results you would get from porcelain.

And last but not least we have removable veneers. These are a relatively new solution and are sometimes known as a snap on smile. They are made from a hard-wearing dental resin to form a thin but strong cover which you wear over your existing teeth to give the appearance of a perfect smile. You can eat and drink as you normally would, and simply remove and clean them when you’re finished.

At Dobson Dental, we will take an imprint of your existing teeth and you can choose the look and shade of teeth you’d like on your snap on veneers. You’ll then have a custom made perfect smile that can be worn as needed, and it’s a great alternative for those unable to afford extensive cosmetic treatment or who are not suitable candidates for implants or veneers.

While they are inexpensive and look fairly good, it’s by no means a long-term solution for existing dental issues. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, are missing multiple teeth or have discolouration issues then proper dental work will be required to fix the underlying problems.

Everyone is different, your needs and wants will determine which smile solution is best for you. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call if you have any other questions, we’re here to help.

References



Do you suffer from jaw pain, when you chew?
Does your jaw make a clicking or popping sound when you bite down?
The chances are you have what is called Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
What is it?
TMJ syndrome is pain in this jaw joint that can be caused by a variety of medical problems. The TMJ is comprised of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and bones. You have two TMJs, one on each side of your jaw.
Where is it?
If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel the joint and its movement. When you open your mouth, the rounded ends of the lower jaw (condyles) glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone. The condyles slide back to their original position when you close your mouth. To keep this motion smooth, a soft disk of cartilage lies between the condyle and the temporal bone. This disk absorbs shock to the temporomandibular joint from chewing and other movements. Chewing creates a strong force. This disk distributes the forces of chewing throughout the joint space.
TMJ Problems
Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, facial pain, ear pain, headaches, a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems with biting, and jaw clicking or popping sounds when you bite. Did you know more women than men suffer from this condition, and no its not because they are known to talk more!
How to fix it
Over use of the jaw, say chewing gum for long periods can make your jaw ache and uncomfortable, this is normal, and resting up should fix it. However, If you experience discomfort or pain for more than 24 hours, or sharp stabbing pains in your jaw region, please see a professional ASAP. Correct diagnosis and treatment can prevent a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort.



So you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened – but do you know what questions you should ask first? Many people have success with whitening treatments either in the dentist’s chair or at home using a whitening kit, but it’s still very important that you understand what these treatments involve before making your final decision.

You should always speak to your dentist before using any teeth whitening product (even over-the-counter ones). Below are some of the questions you should ask your dentist to help decide whether it’s right for you.

What’s causing my tooth discolouration?
Your dentist will be able to help you understand the cause of your discolouration and if a whitening treatment is the best solution for you.

For example, teeth whitening doesn’t work the same for all types of stains and discolouration. Usually, whitening treatments are better at brightening teeth that are yellow than teeth that are grey, brown or black.

If your teeth have been discoloured by staining food and drinks, tobacco or medication, your dentist might recommend avoiding these things in order to maintain the results of your whitening treatment.

And if the discolouration is caused by an underlying dental issue, this will need to be addressed.

Is teeth whitening treatment safe?
Teeth whitening is a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t involve surgery, but there can be risks if instructions and regulations are not adhered to.

Teeth whitening products sold over the counter in Australia should not contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide, as higher concentrations may carry a risk of chemical burns. Higher strength products may only be used by a registered dental professional.1

What are the risks or side effects?
If a whitening treatment isn’t performed correctly, you could risk injury or uneven results. If the bleaching agent comes into contact with your gums or other soft tissue in your mouth, there may be a risk of chemical burns. That’s why it’s important to at least consult a dental professional about any whitening product before using it.

Some people find that their teeth and gums feel more sensitive for a few days after teeth whitening, especially during in-chair treatments. Your dentist can advise you on possible side effects and what to expect.

Generally, it’s best for pregnant women and new mothers to avoid teeth whitening – as chemicals from the treatment may enter the placenta and breast milk.

How white will my teeth get?
It’s best to have realistic expectations before undergoing any whitening treatment. Your dentist should be able to explain what you can probably expect.

Not all whitening treatments are equally effective on all people, and not all teeth will whiten to the same degree. Teeth whitening can change a tooth’s colour by several shades, meaning teeth that are more stained or discoloured won’t whiten as well as teeth that were originally whiter.

I have a big event coming up – how far in advance should I get whitening?
Teeth whitening has become a popular way to prepare for weddings and other social events where people want to look their best. But because some treatments can take time to be effective, you should make sure you leave enough time before the big day.

Home whitening kits using gels can take up to two weeks to achieve results, while whitening toothpastes can take up to four weeks and generally have less dramatic results. If you have your teeth whitened professionally by your dentist (sometimes called an “in-chair” treatment), the treatment may be completed in a single appointment.

How long will the treatment last?
Teeth whitening isn’t permanent, but how long the effects last will depend on the type of treatment you have and how well you look after your teeth afterwards.

In most cases, teeth whitening can last from six months up to two years. There’s more chance of your teeth staying whiter for longer if you avoid smoking and staining food and drinks such as tea, coffee and beetroot.

Will this procedure work if I have a crown or veneers?
Teeth whitening specifically works on tooth enamel. It doesn’t change the colour of dental work such as crowns, veneers or fillings, although it may lift stains from their surfaces.

If you have dental restorations like crowns or veneers, they’ll probably have been matched to the natural colour of your teeth. That means they may stand out in your mouth after teeth whitening. Your dentist can tell you if this is an issue or if you’ll need to replace any existing restorations. Sometimes you may need to wait until after your bleaching is completed to know exactly which restorations will need to be replaced.

Is teeth whitening right for me?
When you’ve found out what the treatment involves and what the possible side-effects are, you’ll be in a position to judge whether teeth whitening is the right option for you. But not everyone is suitable for whitening treatments, and your dentist will let you know whether you’re a candidate during your consultation.

If you have an oral health condition such as tooth decay or gum disease, this should be treated as a priority before arranging a cosmetic treatment. You may also not be eligible if you have sensitive teeth or gums, a medical condition, you’re pregnant or you’re under 18 years of age.

To find out more about teeth whitening and whether it’s right for you, please get in touch with us.

Sources
1 Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA). For Professionals — Teeth whitening product regulation [Online] 2013 [Accessed Sep 2017] Available from: www.adia.org.au


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We’ve all heard the adage, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ but what about keeping the dentist away? While we love to see our patients for regular checkups at Dobson Dental, our main priority is educating patients to ensure optimum dental health.The truth is, the answer is complicated! Read on to discover what apples can do for your smile…

The History

The initial proverb, ‘eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread,’ originated from Wales, in the 1860s. The modern version we know today was coined in 1913. However, the meaning has been maintained; eat plenty of fruit (and vegetables) to stay in good health. When this theory was tested by the University of Michigan School of Nursing in a 2001-2010 survey, the ensuing Jama Internal Medicine study found people who regularly ate apples were less likely to use prescription medications. Fortunately for your teeth – the good news doesn’t end there!

An A+ for Health

Discover the benefits of incorporating apples into your diet:

  • An apple contains around 1.7g of fibre. Fibre is essential for a healthy digestive system.
  • Apples are about 85% water, which keeps you hydrated and fuller for longer.
  • On average, an apple is only 268 kilojoules; which means you can eat larger portions, without exceeding your recommended daily intake.
  • A single apple is equal to one serve of fruit; which makes meeting the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendation for kids to eat two serves of fruit each day, easier to achieve.
  • Being Low GI, apples gradually provide your body with energy over an extended period of time.

The Right Serve

While apples are clearly a great addition to your diet, the way you choose to consume this delectable fruit is critical for your wellbeing! Drinking apple juice or consuming vitamin supplements instead, will never offer your body the same benefits as eating a whole apple. This is because much of the nutrients are found within the skin, and fibre is eliminated when the apple is juiced.

A Toothy Treat

Most importantly to our Dobson Dental team, apples are also great for maintaining dental health.

  • The mild acids in apples help kill bacteria in the mouth, which is the source of bad breath.
  • Apples are packed full of nutrients including Vitamin C which boosts your immunity and ensures healthy gums.
  • The tough skin and texture of apples can help scrub away plaque and other debris from your teeth.
  • Apples contain boron, a nutrient which promotes strong teeth and bones.

What About Natural Sugars & Acids?

If you think your favourite apple tastes sweet, you’re right! Yes, apples do contain natural sugars, but that doesn’t mean this fruit is necessarily bad for your pearly whites. These natural sugars are a far better alternative to processed sugar treats. In fact, the high fibre content of apples stimulates saliva production. Saliva and the water contained within an apple help to wash away traces of sugar on your teeth, keeping your enamel intact.

The acid contained within apples can help reduce plaque, however it can also break down tooth enamel over time. For this reason, at Dobson Dental we recommend drinking water after tucking into an apple, to wash away excess acid.

Instead of eating apples as a snack, try eating them as part of your main meals such as slices tossed in a salad. Wait half an hour before brushing your teeth after gorging on your favourite fruit, to make sure the acid has had time to dissipate, so you don’t risk brushing away the softened enamel. Most importantly, while apples can give your teeth and gums a good scrub, they should never be considered a substitute for following your usual dental hygiene routine.

Bitter Sweet

Some apple varieties have been cross-bred to produce a sweeter taste, which has caused some concern in the international community, particularly in Britain, as additional sugar could lead to erosion of tooth enamel. However, there are plenty of local Australian varieties to choose from. Plus, you can prevent tooth decay by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly.

Australian Apples

Several apple varieties have been grown in Australia since the mid 1800s, starting from the germination of the famous green Granny Smith in New South Wales. Apples are an affordable choice for Australians, costing approximately 60 cents, per 100g. In fact, they are our nation’s second favourite fruit, following bananas! Apples have endured as a popular fruit on an international scale for decades because they are easy to grow and keep well. They are juicy, crisp, colourful and boast amazing flavours.

Popular Aussie varieties include Royal Gala, Golden or Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Sundowner and Fuji, just to name a few. So what are you waiting for? Give into temptation and take a toothy bite out of an apple!


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We’re happy to see your kids anytime, even if you’re not!

We have a lot of fun with children and families. It’s not unusual to have siblings racing in and pushing one another aside to be first in the dental chair! We have chair rides, and air pistol fights before getting down to counting teeth and inspecting or teaching brushing and flossing techniques. We love to hear stories of the day, and great school sporting moments! Another big hit is our ‘Special Box’ that is full of goodies (non edible!) that kids can choose one from at the end of their visit. No one lets us forget to get out the “Special Box”!

We also have a Dobson Dental Hero program for our patients who have made a special effort dentally. We have a Hero Wall, and a Facebook page where they are displayed for all to admire!

A frequently asked question is ‘When do I bring my little one in for their first dental visit?’ Well, we love to see little ones from about 12 months. We pop them on parents’ laps and have a ride in the chair. If we can count teeth, and see teeth, then good. If not, then the little one has had a positive new experience anyway. Either way, we discuss with the parents the diet and brushing techniques. Then every 6 months we do it again. We don’t usually charge for these visits until about 3 years of age. These visits can also be fun with older siblings in the room who have gone earlier and modelled the correct behaviour. Then the little one is very keen to copy. The bigger children usually find it fun seeing their small sibling trying hard to please too. For more information on babies teeth and dental visits go to our Babies and Children Dental Care webpage.

For anxious children, we just work and move much more slowly. We chat a lot more about their life and friends and family, and gradually develop a rapport over time. There can be no rush when anxiety is in the room! See our page on Nervous/ Anxious Patients for more information.

We pride ourselves on being a Family Practice. We have many families who are still coming through our doors 42 years, and several generations later! We love seeing children come through our doors, and exclaiming at how tall they have grown since we saw them 6 months ago! It is also delightful when those children you saw when they were 12, now bring in their children.


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Dental erosion, also known as erosive tooth wear, is caused by acid dissolving the surface of the teeth. This often leads people to experience sensitive teeth as the protective layer of enamel, which covers the dentine beneath, wears away. This causes discomfort when consuming hot, cold, sweet and particularly acidic food or drinks. Even breathing cold air can become uncomfortable! Once exposed, acid will dissolve the dentine layer much faster than it affected the tooth enamel originally. So booking regular checkups with your dentist is essential, to ensure this condition is diagnosed and treated promptly, or ideally prevented in the first place!

Avoid Sources of Dietary Acid

Now you are convinced that dental erosion and the ensuing tooth sensitivity should be avoided, it is important to identify potential sources of acid in your diet, so you can minimise the risk of dental erosion. The majority of acid within the mouth is a direct result of the food and drinks within your diet. The main sources of dietary acids typically come from the following:

Drinks

  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Sports drinks
  • Fruit flavoured water
  • Cordial
  • Fruit flavoured tea
  • Alcoholic drinks

Food

  • Citrus Fruits
  • Sour lollies
  • Chewable vitamin C tablets
  • Vinegar

Additionally, flavoured beverages advertised as sugar free drinks typically contain highly acidic additives. For the sake of your dental health, it is best to avoid drinks with the following ingredients:

  • Citric acid
  • Sodium citrate
  • Malic acid
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Fruit juice concentrate

Health Conditions which Cause Additional Acid

Some health conditions can contribute to the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to. The following conditions can cause the acid which occurs naturally in the stomach to travel up the throat into the mouth, causing tooth erosion:

  • (Post) vomiting
  • Pregnancy (morning sickness)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (acid reflux)
  • Gastroesophageal cancer

Alternative Causes of Dental Erosion

Unfortunately, even if you minimise the amount of acidic food and drink within your diet, you may still be at risk of erosive tooth wear, if you have low saliva flow. Saliva is necessary to neutralise acid in the mouth. This means if your body is not producing enough saliva, known as dry mouth, dietary acids won’t be washed away from the teeth effectively. Consequently, higher concentrations of acid will remain in the mouth, which cannot be neutralised, increasing the likelihood of dental erosion. There a several circumstances which can cause people to experience a dry mouth, such as:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Ingesting (various) medications
  • (Undergoing) radiotherapy for the head and neck
  • Diabetes
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome

How to Prevent Dental Erosion

There are several precautions you can integrate into your daily life to prevent your tooth enamel from eroding. Foremost, eliminating acidic food and drink from your diet, will significantly reduce erosive wear on your teeth. If there are not many sources of acid within your diet but you are still concerned about developing sensitive teeth, check with both your dentist and doctor to determine if any medical conditions could be the cause.

While eliminating acidic food and drink from your diet entirely is not always feasible, you can make a conscious effort to minimise the damage:

  • Aim to only ingest acidic food and drinks when eating a meal, as opposed to snacking or sipping during the day. Saliva flow increases during meal times, so your teeth will naturally be better protected during these periods.
  • Eat whole fruits, instead of drinking fruit juice. Fruits which are low in acid such as banana, melon, paw paw and pear are great options.
  • Use a straw when drinking acidic beverages, so the liquid bypasses your teeth.
  • Ensure acidic drinks are chilled for consumption, as warm drinks will cause more erosion.
  • Always rinse your mouth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic, vomiting or experiencing reflux. Use either water, milk or a fluoride rinse; but don’t brush your teeth! The acid will have softened the teeth, so brushing will actually cause more damage.

How to Minimise Erosion

If acid is an unavoidable aspect of your life, whether the source is your diet, stress, medication, or illness; ensure you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Choose a soft bristled toothbrush to minimise the effects of erosion, paired with a fluoride toothpaste.

What to do if you have Dental Erosion

If you believe you are suffering from dental erosion, visit the team at Dobson Dental. As dentists, we are able to offer high fluoride options to help repair areas, as needed, and can provide additional advice according to your individual needs.


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