Here you will find blogs written by our professional dentists.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

sensitive-teethEveryone gets sensitivity sometimes usually from cold drinks or ice cream. With the cold weather on its way sometimes just breathing in the cold air can set it off. Sensitivity can mean you have a cavity in your tooth, and the food is getting into the nerve causing pain.

Sensitivity is more concerning if you are getting sensitive to hot things or sweat, it is more likely to be a hole in your tooth.
Generalised cold sensitivity can mean that you have dentine hypersensitivity. This is when the enamel of your tooth has worn away or thin, and the cold can get into the layer of tooth underneath called the ‘dentine.’ This most commonly happens at the gum line because the enamel is naturally thin in this area. The dentine is porous so cold can get into the pulp (the nerve).

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How can I fix this?
Sensitive toothpastes like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive have ingredients in them that block these tubules and stop the cold getting in the tooth. This protection builds up over time, so if you have on-going sensitivity, you will need to keep using these toothpastes.
There are also desensitising treatments your dentist can provide that work in a similar way. If the sensitivity does not ease or you get sensitivity to heat or sugar you should consider seeing a dentist. You may have a cavity, the sooner you catch it the better!
Make sure you are using a soft toothbrush and not brushing too hard. Plaque has the consistency of cream, so you do not need to scrub hard to get it off your teeth.
Check out oceanbreezedental.com.au for more information on brushing technique. You can also pop into the practice (3/73 The Trak Arcade, The Terrace, Ocean Grove) to pick up some free sensitive toothpaste samples. (Note- We are not affiliated with any toothpaste companies and do not recommend any brand in particular. We do find that the ‘sensitive’ toothpastes do help patients with dentine sensitivity, however.)

Am I brushing my teeth correctly?

Most of us are handed a toothbrush at a young age and have to figure it out. Here are some tips for optimal oral hygiene.

 

To keep your mouth healthy, you need to brush twice a day. Plus clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes. Children will need help with cleaning until they are about nine years old as younger children lack the manual dexterity for optimal brushing.

 

I recommend a soft toothbrush as plaque only has a ‘ double cream’ consistency. Therefore, a soft toothbrush can easily remove this. Using a soft brush also allows you to get up to the gum margin without causing gum tenderness. Using a hard toothbrush or applying pressure onto the gums can also lead to tooth wear. I see many patients with wear and recession in the roots of their teeth from brushing overly hard.

 

Electric toothbrushes are excellent for good cleaning. You can get the same result with a manual toothbrush if you are thorough with your cleaning but an electric toothbrush does the work for you. I would choose a rechargeable toothbrush over a battery powered one. There are two types of cleaning movement’s available these are oscillating and vibrating (or sonic), a study has shown them to be very close in efficiency, so it is a personal preference. I would also make sure it has a timer included. If you brush too hard, then find one that has a pressure sensor included.

 

Use a fluoride toothpaste as this has been proven to prevent cavities and strengthen enamel. You only need a pea size blob on your toothbrush and just a smear for children under three. Once you have finished cleaning, you can spit excess toothpaste out but don’t rinse! Try and avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after brushing to let the fluoride sit on your teeth and do its work.

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Brushing technique- Firstly, tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle and aim the bristles at the gum margin.

Use small circulation motions to brush up and down the tooth (let the brush do the work for you with an electric brush). Do the outside surface of all your teeth and then the inside surface of all your teeth.

Then move to the biting surfaces of your teeth, place the bristles on top of the occlusal surfaces and brush back and forth.

 

You should brush for a full 2 minutes. There are a lot of free apps to time your brushing and some fun ones for the kids to use as well.

 

Of course, cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes is important too; I will cover this next month, or you can find more tips on our website: www.oceanbreezedental.com.au/tips

Invisalign is virtually invisible braces

 

Sam invisalign

  • Over 3 million patients have had their teeth straightened, with Invisalign, all over the world. Some of these patients include Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise & Serena Williams.
  • Invisalign aligns your teeth by a series of clear aligners. It is a perfect option for adult orthodontics, if your teeth are not as straight as you would like, and you do not fancy the traditional brackets and wires, then Invisalign is for you.
  • It is easy to clean your teeth with Invisalign as you can just remove the aligner and clean your teeth as normal and then pop the aligner back in.
  • They move your teeth slower than conventional braces, so they are more comfortable.what is invisalign

Is it worth it?

I truly believe everyone deserves to be confident with his or her smile. Good teeth and a glowing smile are one of the first things you notice when you meet a new person.

Having straight teeth makes for healthier gums and less chance of decay because it is easier to clean all the surfaces of your teeth. When teeth are overlapping, you can get areas plaque can gather and stagnate.

 Is Invisalign expensive?

Invisalign is not as expensive as you may think. The cost of treatment depends on the number of aligners needed, so if you only have a few teeth to move then, it will be more affordable.

We also have a monthly payment plan that makes payment easier to manage.

Depending on your health cover you may also get some rebate from your private health insurance.

Also, for the next few months at Ocean Breeze Dental, we have 25% discount on Invisalign.

 

Smile makeover

Invisalign is also a perfect treatment to have alongside other treatment.

  • You can use your aligners as custom bleach trays, so whitening your teeth at the end of Invisalign treatment has little-added cost.
  • It is also useful to straighten the teeth with Invisalign before having veneers, this makes for a better final result with veneers and means less, or no tooth drilling needs to be done.
  • Invisalign also works well alongside bridge or implant treatment to make the correct spaces for the replacement teeth and a more natural looking finish. How does the process work?

 

  1. Samantha Ho will firstly take your clinical photographs and impressions.
  2. She will then make a thorough clinical diagnosis and treatment plan based on your areas of concern.
  3. We send your models and photos to Invisalign, where the Invisalign technicians create a 3D simulation of your teeth.
  4. Samantha Ho will explain your scans and 3D simulation and make sure your 100% happy with the result before the aligners are being made.
  5. Once you have your aligners, we will review you every six to eight weeks to make sure everything is moving as expected.

Are fruit juices and smoothies damaging my teeth?

fruit attack

 

The popularity of fruit juice, smoothie, and Nutri bullet diets are booming. These drinks are a convenient way to increase fruit and vegetables in your diet and boost your cancer-fighting antioxidant intake. A lot of patients have asked me about the effects these drinks have on their teeth. Unfortunately, some smoothies can be worse for your teeth than a can of coke!

 

Juices can have a high amount of natural sugars and can be quite acidic. This acidity can lead to tooth decay or tooth wear. Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid which can cause the enamel to erode. You can avoid much of the sugar reaching your teeth by eating fruit rather than liquidising. When we liquidise fruit, we release the sugars which can then harm your teeth.

 

However, it would be a shame to avoid these healthy beverages. So here are a few tips to enjoy the heart-healthy goodness from these drinks but reduce harm to your teeth.

 

1) Drink your juice fresh, if you leave the beverage to sit the sugars will ferment.
2) Favour vegetables over fruit, try and put at least two parts vegetable to one part fruit. Avoid citrus fruits as these are very acidic.
3) Make sure the fruit is ripe; unripe fruits are full of acids.
4) Yoghurt based smoothies are perfect for reducing the acidity in your drink, but be careful, a lot of yoghurts have hidden added sugar that you might not expect. Coconut oil is another tooth friendly ingredient because it has antibacterial properties.
5) Use a straw to bypass your teeth and drink water afterwards.
6) Avoid cleaning your teeth straight after eating or drinking as you are effectively brushing the acid around your mouth.

Here are some dentist approved smoothie recipes to try-

 

Vitamin Rich Green Smoothie

1 cup of chopped spinach,
1 cup of chopped kale,
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A green apple, cored, chopped
A pear, cored, chopped
Two large bananas, frozen and roughly chopped
Water to desired consistency
Blend all together
Add mint leaves to serve

This recipe has a high proportion of vegetables which will stop it becoming too acidic and causing tooth erosion. The Kale is a popular super food as it is rich in Vitamins A, C, K, E as well as folate, manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.

 

Cranberry and Hazelnut Smoothie

A cup of cranberries
A cup of raspberries
One banana.
Ten raw hazelnuts, soaked for 8 hours
The vanilla from 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of baby spinach
Water to desired consistency

There has been a recent study that show’s that cranberries help prevent decay by preventing bacteria growing on your teeth.
Also, check out this Banana bread smoothie. Non-acidic and looks delicious!

 

How do I get my teeth looking whiter?

Everywhere we look now we see pearly white smiles. I find that patients are always asking me how to whiten their teeth. In fact, I think this is the most frequent question I get asked. I have put together the key points on the subject and hope that you find the following advice helpful!

Teeth whitening
 
►Firstly, you could try cutting back on things that stain your teeth. The most common suspects are smoking, tobacco, tea (especially black or green tea without milk), coffee, red wine or foods with a lot of food colourings.
► Secondly, cleaning your teeth well. Brushing twice a day and flossing. Plaque is yellow, so if your teeth are not clean, they look discoloured. Some stains are too tough to get off with brushing so a thorough scale and polish with the dentist may be needed to remove stubborn stains.
►You could try a whitening toothpaste. These kinds of toothpaste are more abrasive than regular toothpaste so they remove more of the surface staining of your teeth. Home remedies such as bicarbonate of soda have the same effect and remove more surface stains through abrasion.
Be careful, though, long term use of abrasives can wear away your enamel causing sensitivity and damage to your teeth.
►Getting old fillings replaced. Old fillings can become yellow or stained over time. I find quite often patients want whitening because of a dark spot on their teeth but all that is needed is to refresh an old discoloured filling.
►If you are keen to brighten your smile, you could consider professional whitening by a dentist. Usually, we will take impressions and make custom made bleach-trays. We can use these trays to either whiten your teeth in surgery or at home. Most people can whiten their teeth by two shades or more with professional whitening. You can get sensitive teeth from whitening which usually resolves within a few days once you complete whitening treatment. Your teeth can start to stain again afterwards, especially if you are still smoking or eating foods that cause staining. Although once you have the custom fit bleach trays, it is easy to top the whitening up if needed.
For further advise you can book an appointment at Ocean Breeze Dental, where we can advise what you need to brighten your smile. You can book at appointment online or ring on 52552584.
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