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4 Rogers Street
Spring Hill, QLD, 4000
Australia

+61 7 3391 2504

Brisbane Dentist - excellence in general and aesthetic dentistry with Drs Amy Daley, Leila Haywood, UQ graduates with 20 years of experience in Spring Hill, Brisbane

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dentistry life at Brisbane Smile Boutique

The life and times of our dental practice, up to date news in dentistry and celebrations, happy moments in dentistry. Our blog outlines dentistry life at Brisbane Smile Boutique in Spring Hill in inner city Brisbane

Filtering by Category: Bulimba dentist

Tooth brushing tips

Leila Haywood

How you BRUSH your TEETH matters a great deal, with how often you brush, how long you brush, the kind of technique and the toothbrush you use, all major influences on the effectiveness of your brushing. To gain the maximum benefit from brushing, you should brush for at least two minutes morning and night, using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and a flexible neck. The advantage of these toothbrushes is that they remove the plaque and debris from your teeth without damaging your teeth and gums. It’s all in the technique.

You should clean your teeth systematically, starting at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a soft and circular motion. If you scrub too hard from side to side, you can run the risk of causing your gums to recede, as well as damaging the tooth enamel. You should take care to brush carefully along the inner, outer and chewing surfaces, making sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner front areas of the teeth, which are often missed.

If limited dexterity is an issue, you might consider using a powered or electric toothbrush. They can be programmed to run for two minutes, making keeping to the correct length of brushing time easy, and the very good ones are rechargeable, with pressure sensors and they even rate your cleaning. 

Be sure to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 months or as soon as the bristles bend.

toothbrushing tips

TOP TIPS

1.  Brush for 2 minutes morning and night

2. Use a soft toothbrush with a small head, or better still an electric toothbrush that is rechargeable with a pressure sensor and timer

3. Don't push too hard

4. Brush in a soft circular motion

5. Change the toothbrush or electric toothbrush head each 3 months

6. Keep your tooth brush upright so the bristles can dry, move it away form the basin where it might get splashed

7. Use a remineralising toothpaste that has calcium, phosphate and fluoride


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PREVENTIVE CARE FOR CHILDREN

Leila Haywood

WHEN SHOULD I START BRUSHING MY BABY'S TEETH?
It is important to begin brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth, with a baby tooth brush. We recommend no toothpaste under the age of one.  It is important to use a child's toothpaste, between the ages of one and six, and only ever use less than a pea size amount. Never use adult toothpaste for your baby's teeth. Treat toothpaste like a medicine, and keep it out of your baby, or child's reach.
WHAT PREVENTIVE CARE DO I NEED TO PROVIDE FOR MY CHILD?
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months the first primary or baby teeth can erupt through the gums. All 20 of the primary teeth usually appear by age three, although their pace and order of eruption varies.
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age six. This process will continue until approximately age 21, depending on whether wisdom teeth are present.
 
To help ensure oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits follow these key preventive measures:
* Limit sugar intake to help prevent tooth decay.
* Make sure children get enough fluoride, either through drinking water or as a treatment at the dentist’s office to strengthen tooth enamel and resist decay. 
* Consider dental sealants to provide a further layer of protection against cavities. They are made of an advanced plastic and are bonded to the teeth by a dental professional.
* Teach kids to brush and floss regularly and properly. Try creating ways to make brushing and flossing fun for your child in order to encourage a good oral health routine. Sometimes we ask children to brush their teeth to their favourite song, to ensure that they are brushing for around two minutes.  

COLA DRINKS AND TEETH

Leila Haywood

A 375ml can of Coke has 40 grams of sucrose - a can a day adds up to 15 kg of sugar consumption in a year.
The sugar content of Cola drinks contributes to dental decay.
The acid contributes to dental decay, as well as the tooth structure softening and dissolving away, in a process known as 'dental erosion', which can strip the enamel off the teeth, and expose the yellowy softer dentine underneath. This can lead to sensitivity, and the teeth are more vulnerable to developing cavities.
The caffeine causes less saliva flow, which normally washes over the teeth to help to protect them.
There is concern about there being an interaction with Cola beverages and calcium in the body, with the drinks being linked to osteoporosis.
The acid, in combination with the sugar, changes the bacteria in the plaque that forms in the mouth.
Caffeine energy drinks and cola drinks are a mix of sugar, acid and caffeine which can cause catastrophic damage to teeth, not to mention the effects on weight, and general health.

COLA AND TEETH

ADVANTAGES OF INVISALIGN TREATMENT

Leila Haywood

 

Teeth straightening shouldn't get in the way of a busy lifestyle

01

Better oral health

Invisalign aligners are removable, so it's easier to clean your teeth and maintain your oral health during treatment. Unlike traditional braces, there are no metal brackets and wires getting in the way of flossing and brushing.

02

Smile with confidence

Many patients start to see improvements in their smile within just a few months. Unlike metal braces, most people won't realise you're going through orthodontic treatment when you're wearing Invisalign clear aligners because they are virtually invisible

03

Freedom to celebrate

Got a special occasion coming up? No problem, just take your aligners out for the event and pop them back in when you're done.

04

Keep an active lifestyle

With Invisalign clear aligners, you don’t have to worry about your treatment interfering with your active lifestyle.

05

The predictable, comfortable way to beautiful smiles

Are you deciding whether teeth-straightening is for you, but feel worried about the discomfort? With innovative technologies, the Invisalign system effectively straightens your teeth predictably and more comfortably.

06

Potentially fewer dentist visits

Invisalign treatment is ideal for your busy schedule, with dentist visits only required approximately every six to eight weeks (compared to three to four weeks with braces). That means you can spend more time doing the things that are important to you.

ivisalign dentist

Tooth grinding solutions and muscle relaxant injections

Leila Haywood

What is bruxism?

Excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth, is called bruxism, and is thought to be caused by physical or psychological stress, or a sleep disorder. If untreated, bruxism can cause excessive wear of the teeth leading to permanent damage of the teeth and sometimes of the jaw joints. Treatments involve repairing worn or damaged teeth with restorations, crowns or inlays, to replace the damaged tooth surface, and making an occlusal splint, or night guard, custom made from hard plastic that fits over the top teeth, and is worn at night to prevent further wear of the tooth surfaces, and to allow the jaw joint and muscles to relax. 

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TMJ disorders and muscle relaxant therapy

Disorders of the jaw joint, or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) are not uncommon and may lead to symptoms of pain and discomfort in the jaw called temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) . Patients may complain of earaches, headaches and a limited ability to open their mouth.  Other symptoms can include clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint,  pain when opening and closing the mouth,  a general tightness and pain in the muscles of the jaw, or broken teeth due to the excessive forces.

Muscle relaxant injection treatments are available for jaw pain caused by excessive tooth grinding. These can reduce the muscle activity of the jaw and provide relief from wear in the joint system, and can prevent the teeth grinding excessively.

Dentists will try to determine the cause of tooth grinding and associated symptoms, and offer a range of treatment options to reduce the discomfort and intervention before the excessive forces damage your teeth. There are several treatment options that can be used to immediately stop  clenching or tooth grinding , and hopefully relieve the jaw pain.   

People who clench or grind their teeth are able to relieve the pain in the jaw joints and muscles with physiotherapy treatments, pain relief, prescribed sedatives, occlusal splint therapy or therapeutic use of muscle relaxant injections into the jaw muscles. 

Current management for bruxism

Current management by dentists for jaw muscle pain caused by grinding or clenching is with occlusal splint therapy or night guards made by the dentist, orthodontics, pain relief, full mouth rehabilitation,  muscle relaxant injections, and very rarely, surgery. 

Muscle relaxant injections with Botulinism Toxin A can decrease the destructive effects of tooth grinding. A diluted form of the muscle relaxant is injected in the jaw muscle to partially weaken muscles for a period of 4 to 6 months.  

Bruxism is a disorder of repetitive and unconscious contraction of the masseter muscle, the large muscle that moves the jaw.  Muscle relaxant injections weaken the jaw muscles enough to reduce the effects of teeth grinding and clenching, but not so much as to prevent proper use of the jaw muscle for eating and normal facial movements. A muscle relaxant treatment typically involves injections into the masseter muscles. It takes a few minutes per side, and you can start to expect feeling the effects after 5 days.

What is the muscle relaxant injection? 

The muscle relaxant injection is Botulinism Toxin A, a prescription medicine which contains 100 units of muscle relaxant liquid and is a natural, purified protein that is used therapeutically in medicine to relax facial muscles, and is approved by the FDA (US) and TGA to treat medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. It is widely known for its uses in cosmetic work, as anti wrinkle injections.  

How are muscle relaxant injections used in  dentistry? 

Dentists who have undergone appropriate training can use muscle relaxant injections to treat muscular pain and headaches due to muscle contractions in the head and face, focusing on the jaw area.

Severe and undiagnosed tooth grinding and clenching can lead to headaches, pain in the jaw joint, muscles of the jaw, enlarged masseter muscles, tooth wear and broken teeth, and is thought to be cause by fatigue, stress and emotional extremes. 

How does the muscle relaxant injection work?

Approximately 90% of all headaches are thought to be caused by muscle contraction. Pain is minimised with muscle relaxant injections into the muscles of the jaws so that they cannot be contracted fully, therefore the pain is minimised.   

What does the treatment involve?

Muscle relaxant injections are usually administered by a very fine needle into the muscles that are causing the pain (eg. masseters, temporalis, frontalis) with a selected appropriate dose. The rest of the muscles still can function normally therefore chewing is mostly unaffected. No anaesthetic is required since the procedure has minimal discomfort, with just a slight sting at the injection site.  The treatment generally takes around 15 minutes for a full treatment. The muscle relaxant treatment takes around 5 days to begin taking effect and up to 7 days for the full effect to be felt.   

How long does it last? 

This varies from individual to individual but usually 3-6 months.  Repeat injections may result in the effects being prolonged.   

Contraindications to using muscle relaxant

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Allergy to albumin
  • an infection, skin condition or muscle weakness 
  • Have Eaton-Lambert syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease or myasthenia gravis.

Risks

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we recommend that you ask any questions that you wish, advise of any associated issues and seek a second opinion from another qualified health practitioner.   

What are the Side Effects? 

The amounts are carefully measured appropriately for your case and the injection site is very localized therefore the side effects are minimised.

Possible side effects include but are not limited to discomfort, burning/stinging, swelling, redness or  bruising around the injection site. Side effects are minimised by using a trained professional and usually minimal.