What is the best age to have orthodontics?

What is the best age to have orthodontics?

One question that many parents face is what is the best age for their child to have orthodontic treatment?. If orthodontic appliances are placed too early treatment may be required again later in life and if you get them too late they may need to be worn for a longer period of time. 

Unfortunately, there is no universal right answer to this question. We can, however, draw from our years of experience to help provide some additional factors when deciding on the best age for braces. 

Early Intervention - Ages 7-9 years

We recommend having a child evaluated for braces as yearly as age 7. This does not mean that braces will be applied this early but rather give you an indication of what future treatment may be required. 

By age 7, most baby teeth have started to come through and an orthodontist can get a good indication of what the alignment of permanent teeth will look like. In some cases, braces or partial teeth aligners may be recommended at this stage if a child is having difficulty talking or eating due to poor teeth alignment. 

A child may also be a suitable candidate for braces if he or she has protruding teeth, a crossbite or tooth crowding. By assessing and treating these issues earlier rather than later you can help to prevent these issues from becoming worse when permanent teeth eventually arrive. 

 

How You Can Sooth Sore, Inflamed Gums

How You Can Sooth Sore, Inflamed Gums

Suffering from sore, irritated & inflamed gums can ruin your whole day. Most of us at some point have noticed blood in the skin when rinsing your mouth out after brushing and flossing or even sharp pains when eating and drinking. If so, this is a likely sign your gums are unhealthy. Overall body health has a strong link to oral health so it is vital to take note when you start to experience these symptoms and pay notice to what is causing them.

The most common reason as to why you may experience painful, sore or inflamed gums comes down to inconsistent oral home at home. When bacteria is left to build up in your mouth it creates plaque. When this happens your inflammatory system kicks in to try and rid infections, therefore causing your gums to become puffy and sore. 

In some instances, you may come to find sores in the mouth which can also contribute to sore gums.  Abscesses are lumps of pus that usually stem from a bacterial infection, and should be attended to by your dentist as soon as possible. You may come to find ulcers developing in certain areas of the mouth. 

Below you will find some simple tips and tricks to start improving your gum health immediately. 

  1. With many toothbrushes on the market, it's important to choose the right one. Choose a soft bristle brush with blunt ends. A brush with hard bristles may damage tooth enamel and cause further gum irritation. 
  2. Flossing is important but be gentle. Slide the floss gently up and down between teeth rather than forcing it. 
  3. Twice a day keeps the bugs away! To keep gums healthy it is important to brush morning and night and floss once daily. This ensures there are no food particles left on teeth or between them.
  4. If you are suffering from ulcers these will usually clear up in a week or two. To help healing we recommend over the counter treatment from your chemist or daily warm salt water mouth rinses. 
  5. Diet plays an important role in gum health. Consume a diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin c as this will help boost your immune system in order to fight plaque effectively. 
  6. Take time out for rest and relaxation. Ulcers usually become present in times of stress so it is important to take time out to do the things you enjoy.

With a little extra tender loving care you will get your gums into tip top shape. It is important to maintain and continue good oral hygiene habits once symptoms have resolved. If you let sore inflamed gums go without treatment you may run a risk of developing periodontitis.

There are also other conditions which may be contributing to sore gums so if symptoms persist seek help from you dental professional as early prevention is best. If you are concerned about gums that have been sore for more than a week, click the link below to schedule an appointment or call one of our friendly team members on 9382 8266.

What Is Fluorosis?

What Is Fluorosis?

What is fluorosis?

That is a good question and one that we are asked often. Fluorosis is a change in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel surface. The most common types of fluorosis do not affect the function of the tooth and do not cause pain.

Most cases of fluorosis that we see are mild and appear as white, lacy markings on the tooth’s enamel and with an untrained eye are difficult to see.

Fewer instances of fluorosis are moderate. This appears as again as white, lacy markings, however, cover more of the tooth surface.

In rare cases, fluorosis is described as severe. In this instance, we will find the enamel pitted with brown spots.

What Causes Dental Fluorosis?

The simple answer to this question is due to an overconsumption of fluoride over a period of time when teeth are forming but before they appear in the mouth. This takes place before8 years of age. To avoid this from happening it is important to supervise children when brushing their teeth to ensure they do not use too much toothpaste or mouthwash. It is important to ensure your child spits out toothpaste after brushing and rinses their mouth with water rather than allowing them to swallow the excess.

 Fluorosis markings

Fluorosis markings

How can I determine if my child has fluorosis?

As there are many possible causes in the appearance of teeth, it is best to have your child’s teeth checked by a dental professional. It is recommended that children start visiting a dentist by their first birthday.

How much fluoride should my child have in order to protect his/her teeth without the risk of fluorosis?

Children who consume a well-balanced diet, drink fluoridated water, and use fluoridated dental products correctly will get the necessary fluoride levels to maintain healthy teeth. It is not necessary to monitor water or food consumption since your child will ingest low levels of fluoride from these sources. It is important to ensure that your child does not swallow toothpaste or mouth rinse as these contain higher concentrations of fluoride.

Is there anything I can do to protect my child’s teeth without causing fluorosis?

The following steps can help protect your child’s teeth:

  1. Children younger than 3 should use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
  2. Limit tooth brushing to 2 times a day for this age group.
  3. Children aged 3-6 years should use a slightly larger “pea-sized” amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
  4. Make sure your child is supervised and help your child brush his/her teeth. Most young children will instinctively swallow water, but they should be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste.
  5. Keep all dental hygiene products out of reach to avoid accidental ingestion.
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Treatment And Advice For Missing Teeth

Treatment And Advice For Missing Teeth

Some people are quite happy to have missing teeth and can cope well after they have lost a tooth. It is important to understand the possible consequences of leaving a missing tooth for a long period of time. Missing teeth cannot only lead to crowding in your mouth and teeth leaning in but the longer a missing tooth is left the more difficult it can be to replace. A missing tooth can lead to a number of serious issues such as aesthetic changes through to serious health concerns if dental treatment is not sought.

One of the more serious issues that can arise from a missing tooth is bone resorption.  As your jaw bone is continually stimulated by chewing and biting when a tooth is lost this stimulation stops. A consequence of this is that it can cause a loss to the part of your jawbone that contains the roots of your teeth (alveolar bone). Due to this over time gum tissue starts to recede therefore exposing the tooth roots. 

The bone below the alveolar bone begins to resorb affecting the shape of your face, cheeks, and chin. This may begin to affect your speech as well as your ability to chew. While this process may be slow it can be quite painful and uncomfortable causing sensitive teeth as well as headaches. Do not put off making an appointment to see us as the sooner you seek advice the better the outcome will be for your teeth.

There are many problems associated with missing teeth. While bone resorption may be a scary thought there are also smaller issues to take into consideration before choosing to ignore a missing tooth. Some of these issues include:

  1. Once a tooth is lost adjacent teeth often drift into its space which leads to leaning teeth as well as crowding.
  2. Teeth either side of a missing tooth may tip or rotate. This can affect your bite and place strain or your jaw joints causing pain. 
  3. Missing teeth can lead to gum issues, root decay, and sensitive teeth and can cause periodontal issues. 
  4. Unfortunately losing a tooth can cause an uneven bite.  This can cause you to chew more on one side than the other causing strain on that side, therefore, increasing problems in that area.
  5. The tooth or teeth opposite the missing tooth may supra-erupt. What this means is the teeth grow down and out of the gum. This, in turn, can lead to periodontal disease. 
  6. A missing tooth can affect speech as well as your smile.

If you have been involved in an accident where you accidentally knock out an adult tooth do not panic. It is important that you handle this tooth with care by rinsing it gently under cold running water and placing it in a container with some milk. If the tooth has been knocked out cleanly and you are not in too much pain or the injury to your mouth is not severe then place the tooth back in its socket gently. Bute down on a piece of gauze or a clean handkerchief to hold it in place. While this may be difficult to do it will help your dental professional re-implant the tooth and keep the root healthy. However, in this circumstance, it is best to contact us for an emergency appointment. 

Failure to see your dentist may result in the socket becoming infected and reimplanting the tooth may not be possible.  For more information on how to look after a missing or broken tooth, you may read or article what to do if you have a broken tooth. If you love to play sports we highly recommend a custom-made sport mouthguard. (Information can be found by visiting our blog why mouthguards are important during playing sport. 

7 Reasons Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

7 Reasons Your Teeth May Be Sensitive

If the thought of eating ice cream or having an ice cold drink is enough to make you cringe chances are you at some point have suffered from tooth sensitivity. 

So what is tooth sensitivity?

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Many people describe this as pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet or acidic. The most common reason for tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin. Dentin is the inner substance of your teeth which is covered by the hard enamel layer. This inner substance contains tiny tunnels linking to the nerves inside your teeth. When enamel wears down dentin becomes exposed and generally will occur close to the gumline. This results in these tiny channels becoming exposed to temperature and food which stimulates the nerve and in turn causes pain.  

So what causes enamel wear?

Brushing your teeth aggressively:

While we definitely recommend brushing after meals brushing must be done in the correct manner. If too much force is used, or if the bristles of your toothbrush are too hard, the protective enamel layer on your teeth can be worn down. Aggressive brushing can also contribute to gum recession. This eventually leads to exposed dentin and greater exposure of tooth nerves to changes in temperature and pressure. 

Excessive consumption of acidic foods and beverages:

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There are a number of foods and beverages with a high acidic content. Some of these include tomato products,  citrus fruits, pickles, sports drinks, carbonated drinks, and tea. These types of foods and drinks can contribute to the erosion of enamel and exposure of dentin. This, in turn, leads to greater tooth sensitivity. As we are well aware carbonated drinks are unhealthy in general and should be eliminated from your diet as much as possible. We are not recommending that you cut citrus fruits or any other healthy acidic foods out of your diet completely but we do recommend that you counteract the acidic effects of these foods by eating cheese, milk, bananas or other foods which have a low acidic content. 

Clenching or grinding:

While it is true that enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, be aware that enamel is not indestructible. Grinding or clenching your teeth will not have immediate effects but over time results in the wear down of tooth enamel. This, in turn, exposes the inner dentin leading to tooth sensitivity. Anyone who finds they have this habit should consult their dentist as a splint is recommended to protect the teeth.

Excessive use of toothpaste or mouthwash:

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What you may not realise is the overuse of toothpaste and mouthwash can be harmful if overused. Many products on the market such as tooth whiteners, whitening toothpastes, and mouthwashes contain peroxide based bleaching solutions, acids, alcohol and other chemicals which remove stains. These stain removing chemicals remove enamel on the teeth which again exposes the dentin layer and nerves. These types of products also exacerbate pre-existing tooth sensitivity further by damaging the dentin layer. When in doubt about what oral hygiene products you should be using it is best to consult your dentist. 

Gum recession:

This condition is most commonly referred to as gum inflammation or gum disease as the gum layer starts to recede away from the teeth. Both of these conditions mean an increase in the exposure of sensitive tooth roots. These tooth roots carry temperature and pressure to the nerve centers within the teeth. It is common for people who suffer from gum inflammation and disease to also experience tooth sensitivity. It important for anyone who suffers from this condition to consult your dentist and maintain regular dental check-ups. 

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Sensitivity after a dental visit:

We know that this may seem a little unfair but teeth can become sensitive after having dental procedures. Some procedures which may cause sensitivity include tooth extractions, root canal therapy, crown preparations & fillings. You will most likely come to find that this sensitivity will subside in about 4-6 weeks. If sensitivity does persist we recommend that you contact your dentist as this may be the result of something more serious. 

Broken, decayed and cracked teeth:

Cracked and broken teeth can result in the nerve center of the tooth being more exposed. This can result in pain when eating and drinking. If teeth are left untreated these areas become filled with bacteria from plaque and start to cause inflammation to the nerve center. An accumulation of bacteria also leads to the build-up of acid and the wearing down of the enamel layer. Cavities and decayed teeth expose the dentin layer as well as the roots of your teeth. So as mentioned it is important to have these teeth treated as broken, cracked and decayed teeth all contribute to tooth sensitivity. 

We hope that this explains some of the reasons for tooth sensitivity. The good news is tooth sensitivity can be treated with the help of your dentist, the right oral hygiene products, and the correct home care. If you suffer from tooth sensitivity which is not resolving it is best to see your dentist. 

Click the link below to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained dentists or call our reception staff on 9382 8266