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How to maintain kids oral health during Halloween

With the October month upon us Halloween is in full swing. Although a relatively new holiday in Australia, it is becoming increasingly popular with young kids, as the thought of dressing up as their favourite characters and getting free candy entices them. As parents, how do we help our kids maintain proper oral health care without depriving them of the fun? 

Dental appointments in November see an increase in cavities, and tooth decay – and its not just because of all the extra sweets during Halloween, although this does have a large contributing factor!

Cavities are caused by acidic bacteria in the mouth that feast on carbohydrates in our diet, so yes, sugar is apart of it, but it is also caused by chips, crackers and other high carb foods. To blame a week of a higher sugar intake on extra cavities is wrong, as it can take a while for cavities to form. 

Here are the 5 ways to help your kids enjoy Halloween, but also look after their teeth

1. Time their treats

Timing is everything when giving your kids their Halloween treats. Saliva production increases during meals, which helps cancel out acids in your mouth. Eating sugary snacks shortly after mealtime can help reduce the effects of tooth decay due to this increase in saliva. Limiting yours kids snacks to only after mealtime helps prevents them from grazing on their stash between meals, and over consume too much sweets.

2. Ensure they maintain their oral health routine

It seems normal right? Make sure your kids brush and floss their teeth twice a day. But this is important! 

Sugary treats such as lollies and chocolates are sticky, and they can cause cavities easier because they stick to your teeth and it can be hard to get off your teeth.  After eating sugary treats, a good tip is to wait 30 minutes before brushing. Some acidic foods soften your enamel, so if you brush right after eating them, you can risk hurting your enamel further while it is still sensitive.

3. Keep up their water intake

There have been many studies that show drinking tap water, or fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. It is important to drink plenty of water to rinse away the sugar after eating Halloween treats.

Try and limit your kid’s intake of fruit drinks and smoothies that are viewed as healthy, but tend to be high in sugar and bad for your teeth.

4. Be careful of prosthetics for teeth 

A vampire costume isn’t complete without fangs, but is the adhesives really that good for your teeth? 

Be cautious of fake teeth or prosthetics & read the labels carefully to avoid any potential choking hazards for children 

For young children who are losing baby teeth, it is best to avoid these false teeth or prosthetics in case they promote tooth loss. Choose the sweets wisely

5. Choose the sweets wisely

Try and avoid giving your kids hard and sticky candy like gummy bears & hard candy, as sticky candies like gummy bears take longer to be washed away by saliva, which can cause great risk of tooth decay. Hard candies can actually break teeth.

Sour candies can be acidic, and the acidity can weaken and damage the enamel of their teeth. The best type of sweet is chocolate as it washes off teeth more easily than other sweets.

Here are just 5 examples of ways you can help your kids enjoy Halloween, but still look after their teeth. 

If you have any more questions or concerns, our team here at Everton Park Dental are always happy to answer any of your questions! Click here to contact our friendly team.

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How to maintain perfect oral health when sick

Whether it’s the flu or a stomach bug, our oral health can suffer we’re feeling under the weather.

Even the common cold can have more of an effect on your teeth than you might expect!

As winter is coming to a close, it is important to understand how to keep your oral health up to scratch.

Your overall health can cause serious damage to your oral health. Here are three examples, and what to do if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Vomiting

Vomiting promotes enamel decay.

The fluids in your stomach are acidic and when pushed through the mouth, can be damaging to the enamel on your teeth. The enamel is the defensive layer of your teeth and if work out, your teeth become more prone to decay.

What to do: Don’t brush your teeth straight away. Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with an alkaline solution of water and baking soda to neutralise and wash away the acid before brushing.

Spreading Bacteria

Our toothbrushes harbour bacteria, saliva and blood. If your symptoms are contagious, its best to isolate your toothbrush, to lower the risk of contamination.

What to do: Continue to brush and floss even when you’re ill (except after you’ve just vomited). Keep your toothbrush separate from others in your household to prevent spreading the infection.

Most importantly: NEVER SHARE TOOTHBRUSHES!

Once you’ve recovered, throw out your old toothbrush and purchase a new one.

Dehydration

Staying hydrated is vital to maintaining both oral and general health.

This can be especially important when you’re ill. Your body may be more likely to lose fluids while fighting an infection, which means you could be at a much greater risk of dehydration or dry mouth.

A lack of saliva in your mouth can put you at an increased risk of dental decay and gingivitis. Saliva washes away food particles and acid in your mouth, helping to regulate the bacteria in your mouth.

Certain cold & flu Medications, link antihistamines & decongestants, can cause dry mouth.

What to do: Drink plenty of water and, if needed, suck on sugar-free lozenges to encourage saliva production. But try to avoid drinks or lozenges that are full of sugar – all the extra sugar can heighten your risk of tooth decay!

These are some handy tips to help you and your family stay healthy during the end of this flu season.

For more tips and tricks ask one our friendly staff here at Everton Park at your next appointment!

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TIPS & TRICKS TO A HEALTHY MOUTH

We all know that we’re supposed to brush twice a day and floss, steer clear of sugary food and drinks and have regular dental check-ups, but why do we still get fillings or have bleeding gums?

There is a little more to keep your pearly whites strong and healthy than what you’ve been told your whole life.

As apart of Dental Health Week created by the Australian Dental Association (ADA), we have created 4 easy steps to help you maintain good oral hygiene:

 Here are four helpful steps to help with your oral hygiene:

1

Clean Up Your Dental Skills

Taking two minutes to brush your teeth is a good target for removing plaque. Brushing your teeth regularly stops the bacteria over developing which stops the production of acid.

Electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes. A small head helps to reach awkward areas in the mouth.

Medium-textured bristles help you clean effectively without causing harm to your gums and teeth.

2

Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Toothpaste is the main benefit of brushing your teeth. The key ingredient is fluoride, which prevents tooth decay, as it replaces lost minerals in teeth and also makes them stronger.

Your toothpaste needs to have 1350-1500 Fluoride parts per million, to prevent tooth decay. To find out your toothpaste’s concentration,read the ingredients on the back of the tube.

3

Spit, Don’t Rinse

Brushing your teeth at night is the most important time to brush your teeth as you produce less saliva at night, which means your teeth have less protection from saliva and are more vulnerable to acid attacks.

After brushing your teeth don’t eat or drink anything except water, as this gives the fluoride the longest opportunity to work.

Once you’ve finished brushing your teeth, don’t rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash as this removes the fluoride on your teeth. Studies have shown that if you just simply spit out the remaining toothpaste you can reduce the change of tooth decay by up to 25%

4

Limit The Sugar Hits

Natural sugars are the best for your teeth, as they are far less likely to cause tooth decay than added sugars.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which sugars are bad for your teeth, for example fruit juices are heavily sugar concentrated, compared to just the natural fruits, so it is best to steer clear of fruit juices, even if they say ‘no added sugar’.

The world Health organisation and NHS recommend added sugars should ideally take up less than 5% of your daily calorie intake. For an adult or children over 11, this is approximately 30g, or eight teaspoons. Your teeth can be exposed to four sugar hits a day without permanent damage being caused. The easiest way to eliminate any extra sugars in your diet is to reduce the amount of sugary drinks or to get stop adding sugar to hot drinks and limit your snack intake.

These are the simple steps to a healthier mouth:

  1. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Spit don’t rinse
  3. Eat and drink nothing after brushing
  4. Don’t have sugar more than four times daily.

If you have any questions or are wanting to ask more questions, click here to make an appointment with our friendly dentist, they are always happy to answer any of your questions.

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