child-visit-dentist

BAD TEETH AND GENETICS

Did you really inherit your bad teeth from your parents?

We know that as children we inherit oral bacteria from our parents and carers, but what is the relationship between bad teeth and genetics?  When training to be a dentist we would always ask the parents about their teeth while checking their child’s teeth, the assumption being that if the parents had bad teeth, the child was likely to also have bad teeth.

This new study  published in Cell Host and Microbe has changed this concept.

The study is the first large study to analyse tooth plaque swabs from 485 sets of Australian twins aged between 5 and 11 with 205 being genetically identical twins.

The study set out to examine the oral microbiome (the bacteria that live in our mouths) to determine if it was genes or environment that influenced the presence and growth of the bacteria.  What is the relationship between bad teeth and genetics?

•What they found was the bacteria that are inherited were not the cavity causing bad bacteria.  It was those bacteria linked to the environment – such as a high sugar environments that increased in abundance.  The inherited bacteria decreased in abundance over time.

•In other words, children that had a high sugar diet had managed to grow far more abundant communities of “bad cavity causing bacteria” and decrease the communities of “good or inherited bacteria”.

It has never been shown before that the bacteria that protect us from tooth decay decrease in numbers with high sugar diets.  Because the types of bacteria and their growth are significantly influenced by the environment, we can no longer blame our genetics for tooth decay.

But most importantly if we can control the environment we can significantly change the prevalence of oral disease and treatment.

Good Oral Hygiene

Starting early with good oral hygiene habits has never been so important.  Even before teeth have erupted,  what we feed out children is having an impact on their future dental health.

Avoid sugar, sugary drinks and lollies as much as is possible.  Practice good oral hygiene habits with twice daily brushing and flossing and help to save those “good bacteria”.

For more idea’s on looking after your child’s teeth, visit our Children’s Dentistry Page.

How to floss your teeth

HOW TO FLOSS YOUR TEETH

A guide to help you floss your teeth:

You have made a life changing step and decided it is time to floss your teeth, this guide will help you learn to floss your teeth.

  1. Begin with dispensing approx. 30cm of dental floss.
  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around each middle finger, leaving a few centimetres of floss to work with.
  3. Holding the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide the floss gently up-and-down between the teeth.
  4. To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

It is highly recommend to floss daily. Flossing is important to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth- places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach.

Which dental floss do I buy?

Our favourite floss is Colgate total.  There are similar flosses in other brands.  The floss should be a ribbon shape rather than a cotton string shape.  It should also have a thin wax coating so it can easily slide between your teeth.

Thicker flosses can be better at cleaning but they can be very difficult to use.  If it becomes a chore to floss, you will no longer do it every day!

Flossing has been shown to decrease the spread of inflammatory cells into your blood stream, helping to improve your general health.

 

 

How to brush your teeth

HOW TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH

A Guide to help Brush your Teeth:

You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but you may be surprised.  Remember you should brush for at least two minutes.

Starting at the back, position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, direct the bristles at the margin where the gum and teeth meet. Gently brush in a circular motion. Be careful not to brush too hard and avoid scrubbing from side to side. Scrubbing too hard and particularly in a side to side motion can cause damage to the tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede over a period of time.

Take care and clean each section and surface as follows:

• Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth.

• Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth – This step is often missed

• Clean the biting surfaces

• And don’t forget to brush your tongue too. Brushing your tongue reduces bacteria in your mouth, helping your breathe stay fresh. To brush your tongue, push the bristles on the tongue and gently brush forward to the tip.

 

– images courtesy of Colgate

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, position the toothbrush at the same 45 degree angle and ensure the bristles are positioned where the gum and teeth meet.  Electric toothbrushes supply all the movement for you. All you need to do is simply guide the brush slowly from tooth to tooth, stopping for a few seconds on each one. Do this for every surface for each tooth.

When you have finished, spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some extra ongoing protection.

What toothbrush should I buy?

We prefer the small head Colgate ultra compact head toothbrush.  This toothbrush has a smaller head to reach tighter areas.  At the same time it is not so small that you feel like it is a baby toothbrush.  As a manual toothbrush, we find the circular inserts work in a similar way to our dental cleaning tools.

Wanting to also learn how to floss?  Click through to find out more.  We suggest flossing first and then brushing.

BrushingteethSpringHill

TOOTH BRUSHING

So you think you can brush your teeth?

You may not give much thought to how you brush your teeth, beyond putting some toothpaste on your brush and giving them a bit of a scrub. But, how you brush your teeth matters a great deal. How often you brush, how long you brush, the kind of technique and the toothbrush you use all impact on the effectiveness of your brushing.

 

Which Toothbrush Should I Use?

Soft-bristled toothbrushes with a small head and a flexible neck are the most effective in removing plaque and food from your teeth, without damaging your teeth and gums.

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, try using a small round head, with soft bristles. For electric toothbrushes we recommend Oral B.

 

How Should I Brush my Teeth?

Starting at the back, position the toothbrush at a 45° angle, positioning the bristles at the margin where the gum and your teeth meet. Brush gently in a circular motion. Don’t brush too hard and avoid scrubbing from side to side. This is because scrubbing too hard, particularly in a side to side motion can cause damage to the tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede over a period of time.

Take care to clean every surface of each tooth including the chewing surfaces. Also make sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner areas of the teeth, top and bottom, which are often missed.

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, position the toothbrush at the same 45° angle and where the gum and teeth meet. The big advantage of electric toothbrushes is their oscillating-rotating heads supply all the movement for you. All you need to do is simply guide the brush slowly from tooth to tooth, stopping for a few seconds on each one. Do this for every surface for each tooth.

And don’t forget to brush your tongue. It may seem strange at first but brushing your tongue reduces the bacteria in your mouth and helps your breath stay fresh. All you need to do is push the bristles on the tongue and gently brush forward.

When you have finished brushing, try to spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some extra ongoing protection.

 

How Long Should I Brush my Teeth for?

It’s all in the timing – you should brush for at least two minutes.

 

How Often Should I Brush?

At least twice daily. Brush in the morning and at night before bed.

 

When to Replace your Toothbrush?

Replacing your brush should take place when the bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.

 

Am I Pressing too Hard?

It is a common mistake for people to think that pressing harder on your teeth cleans them better. The fact is, too much pressure and ‘scrubbing’ can damage your gums and tooth enamel.  A good indicator is if the bristles on your toothbrush are wearing out quickly and well before the three month mark.

 

Brush or Floss First?

It is recommended to floss first before brushing. By doing so, you remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. These surfaces then become accessible to clean when you brush.
Although it is not critical which order, the important thing is that you do both.

 

Call for a chat if you would like to learn more: (07) 3839 7279

 

 

DentalHealthWeek_2017_BrisbaneDentist

ORAL HYGIENE HACKS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – DENTAL HEALTH WEEK 2017

This year, the theme for the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Dental Health week is Oral Health for Busy Lives. Dental Health Week acts as a reminder to Australians about the importance of oral health and how easy it can be to incorporate healthy habits into our busy daily lives.

Four Oral Hygiene Hacks for Busy People:

  1. Brushing
    There are no shortcuts when it comes to brushing – Twice daily for two minutes.
    It is important to brush for a total of 2 minutes at least two times per day to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Many patients find it more convenient and easier to brush using an electric toothbrush. They do most of the work for you and can also be programmed to run for two minutes, taking the guesswork out of brushing.
  2. Flossing
    A common excuse for not flossing maybe ‘It’s too time consuming’ or ‘I don’t have enough time’.
    Does this sound like you? Flossing doesn’t have to be a chore.  Flossettes or floss handles can be a helpful alternative for flossing between your teeth. And for wider spaces in between teeth we suggest using an interdental brush. It is best to floss and then brush, otherwise you may not bother following up with the flossing as your teeth already feel clean after brushing.  How often should you floss ? You should floss at least once per day. Floss cleans the spaces in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  3. Diet
    When on the go, busy people tend to snack on sugary foods, but the frequent exposure to sugar increases the risk of dental caries – cavities. Cheese, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, eggs and dry biscuits are good snack alternatives. Also, don’t forget to read the ingredients list on food products as you may be surprised how many “on the go” food options contain hidden sugars.
    Many people are also unaware of the amount of sugar  in fruit juices, flavoured milks and soft drinks. Water is certainly the much healthier, inexpensive and better option.
  4. Regular Dentist Check-ups
    Taking the time and effort to visit your dentist regularly and addressing your oral health can lead to great success in achieving or maintaining healthy teeth. Discussing the various options of home cleaning including flossing and brushing best suited to you and your busy lifestyle can help improve plaque control, reduce gum inflammation and bleeding.   The benefit of a decreased risk of caries and periodontal disease, can actually save you time in the long run.

 

Dental Health Week is occurring this week all over Australia and at our Brisbane Dentist here in Spring hill we welcome any questions you may have.  Is it time to sort out your oral health and bring back that great smile and fresh breath?

 

Click Here to Book an appointment online today or call us on (07) 3839 7279