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4 Rogers Street
Spring Hill, QLD, 4000

+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


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 Tag: tips for heathy gums

About gingivitis

Leila Haywood


The best cure for gingivitis is to catch it early. This is especially true for people who are prone to developing periodontal disease, a bacterial infection where the bone is eaten away from around the roots of the teeth causing them to become loose and wobbly. This happens to around a quarter of the adult population.

Gingivitis is the earliest, mildest stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums may become red and slightly swollen and they may bleed easily. Most people experience very little discomfort on a day-to-day basis, at this stage, so they may not bother to see the dentist. Even if you see your dentist regularly, schedule an extra appointment as soon as possible if you notice redness, swelling or bleeding in your gums, even if it isn't painful. Early intervention is the key to combatting the infection before it becomes serious.

Some medical conditions make you more likely to develop gingivitis. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, are being treated for cancer, or having other hormonal changes, you are at increased risk.  Even if you are perfectly healthy, you should still pay attention to your oral health and see your dentist at the early signs of gingivitis.

Your genes may be against you. Research has shown that approximately 30 percent of the human population overall is at increased risk for gum disease independent of other health factors.

The best intervention for gingivitis is twice yearly professional dental cleaning. Then it’s up to you to maintain a consistent oral health care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. In addition, your dental hygienist or dentist may recommend a mouth rinse as part of an early intervention to help keep plaque at bay,  although this is usually only if the condition of the gums is exceptionally bad.




We would be very concerned if another part of our body was bleeding when we touched it.  Bleeding from the gums is a sign that there is disease either in the gums around the teeth, or the bone that supports it.  In some cases, with professional scaling and cleaning, careful monitoring of the gums and modifications to home care, the gums can become healthy again. In other cases, where there is irreversible and extreme damage, extensive dental treatment may be required with your dentist, dental hygienist and specialist care.

Celebrating Sonia's Birthday! 40 years of amazingness⭐️⭐️⭐️

Leila Haywood

East Brisbane Dentists' nurses. Happy Birthday Sonia // Blackbird Bar // Brisbane City

East Brisbane Dentists' nurses. Happy Birthday Sonia // Blackbird Bar // Brisbane City

Team  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Team  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Keeping Clean in Between- Why Daily Flossing is so Important

Leila Haywood

brisbane dentist

Often, when checking on how our patients' cleaning at home is going, the one thing that tends to let them down is their flossing! Most of us are great with twice daily brushing, but our flossing or in between cleaning can often get left by the wayside in our busy lives.

Which is a real shame, because even with the best brushing technique, bacteria still gets lodged and nests deep in between the teeth, where only floss can reach, causing potentially painful and costly problems like cavities and gum disease to form - and we see many of our patients develop problems in these areas. 


Severe Gingivitis (bleeding, inflamed gums)

Severe Gingivitis (bleeding, inflamed gums)

Decay in between the teeth caused by inadequate flossing.

Decay in between the teeth caused by inadequate flossing.

How do I floss?

brisbane dentist

Floss your teeth once a day, using a piece of floss about 30-45 cm long. Wrap around the middle finger of each hand and gently rub the floss up and down against the sides of each tooth, making sure to curve the floss into a 'c' shape to follow the surface of the tooth. Glide the floss underneath the gum, until you meet gentle resistance. This will clean the narrow spaces between the teeth where bacteria like to live.

The gums may bleed a little at first and it may be slightly uncomfortable, but this should pass as the health of the gums improves.


Some flossing tips-

  • Have a set time of the day that you floss- this will help you remember to do it
  • Set a reminder on your phone if you have a smart phone
  • Try using a floss handle if you find using the string floss difficult
  • Interproximal brushes (toothpick brushes) can be used in larger gaps or areas where food gets stuck if you find flossing in these areas difficult or ineffective
  • Water flossers are another alternative if you find flossing particularly difficult or have gum disease or a lot of bridgework in your mouth- speak to one of our staff about whether a water flosser is right for you.


If you have any questions about your flossing technique, ask your dentist or hygienist at your next preventive care appointment. We will be on the lookout for any areas you may need to improve on, and will discuss these with you.


Dental care for teenagers : : Top 10 Dental care tips 😷

Leila Haywood

electric toothbrush Oral B good dentist Brisbane

I've found that dental hygiene in teenagers is a bit hit and miss. We typically see some plaque buildup around their teeth and some inflammation of the gums.  

I have spent a few decades creating two great smiles, and here are some helpful dental tips I have learnt along the way.  

1. An electric toothbrush for a teenager is a really good idea. I am a fan of the Oral B Professional Care 3000 twin pack. Firstly it's cheaper than the top of the line toothbrush, which is the Oral B Black (yes, things go missing) and comes with two complete separate handles, which is especially good for one teenager; one for home use and one for travel. The same toothbrush can be used for siblings, by changing the toothbrush head, along with the colour-coded band. There have been some troubles with this. Firstly they don't seem to care which colour band is on the toothbrush head, and use whichever is on there. Secondly it is usually not convenient for them to be using the same toothbrush handle at a similar time, and thirdly it is hard to gauge when the charge will run out when there are multiple users of the same handle. 

Other reasons that I like this toothbrush are that the two minute timer is very good for children to determine how long they ought to brush, it has an inbuilt pressure sensor, and it is powerful and long lasting; with a plug in and a very portable power pack. 

2. Change the heads of the electric toothbrush each couple of months for teenagers. For manual toothbrushes, always use soft or extra soft toothbrushes, and change them each few months again. Keep the toothbrushes or toothbrush heads from touching anything, or toothbrushes from touching other toothbrushes to prevent contamination. I prefer the Oral B precision clean heads.

floss dental tooth kind refresh smile perfect

3. Always have a box of floss handy next to the toothbrush to inspire flossing. The Teflon coated fibres like Colgate total floss are easy to use, or Oral B Ultrafloss is popular also. Sometimes people prefer different brands. Minty floss can be something teenagers like to use because it gives the feeling of freshness when flossing and afterwards. Anything to motivate good dental care is on the cards. Parts of the teeth are hidden where the toothbrush cannot reach. Half an hour of tooth brushing will not remove the bacterial film that sticks in between the teeth. Only floss or interdental brushes (dentists and hygienists like the Tepe brand) will dislodge food debris and plaque. Some teenagers like flossettes or flossers. The reach access flosser is also good. I have all of them available to encourage good home care. I can't watch them all the time, in fact once they leave home that's kind of it, so by giving them the opportunity to find out what it is that will work for them, I have found is the best way.

4. For braces, have a box of Oral B Superfloss and fine interdental handles available. If your teenager has a permanent bar/retainer on the inside of their teeth, they will usually need Superfloss, which has a nylon thread that can clean the gap between the teeth, underneath the arch wire, or an interdental brush to get in between the teeth, because the positioning of the retainer usually means that the area is difficult to access. There are also Orthodontic Oral B electric toothbrush head attachments that make it easier to clean around the brackets that are attached to the teeth. Extra care is needed with braces because food tends to get stuck around the brackets and wires much more readily. 

5. Have a pre packed travel dental pack set up with all dental cleaning needs; floss, interdental brush, soft manual toothbrush and toothpaste, for sleepovers, camps and holidays. That way they can't say they forgot their toothbrush or forgot to brush  etc

6. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Adult toothpaste is fine. The children tended not to like anything too minty. They liked the 3M Clinpro Tooth Creme in Vanilla mint, and have been using it for years.

7. Mouth rinse is not necessary but thorough tooth brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day at night time is. 

8. Take the children to the dentist and dental hygienist for preventive care each 6 months, or at least once a year, to instill healthy life habits and to monitor dental health. We tend to give them a mark out of 10 for dental health and care which seems to resonate  well with teenagers and lets them know how well they are going. By attending regularly teenagers are less likely to have a dental phobia, which presents in adults regularly, because children are able to see that routine preventive care has allowed them positive dental experiences. They are unlikely to have negative dental experiences with regular checks and cleans and dental preventive care, and associate the dentist as a regular health requirement in their life, rather than a place to be feared. Creating positive relationships with the dentist creates stability in care. Some of our patients now in university first came in Grade 1, and some from high school now attend with their own children. 

9. It's hard but keep an eye on sugar intake of teenagers. Water is best to hydrate. Flavoured milks, Milo, cordial, juices, smoothies, milkshakes, iced teas and coffees, energy drinks, sports drinks, energy supplements, soft drinks and mixers are all loaded with sugar. Lollies, chocolates, biscuits, cake and ice creams shouldn't be eaten every day. Keeping sugary  foods, cereals and drinks to once or twice a day will ensure that the balance in the mouth is optimal to prevent tooth decay. After sport, drink water, not sports drinks. If minerals are needed, eat a banana.

10. Diet is critical. Whole and unprocessed foods, 2 pieces of fruit a day, vegetables, water, less sugary and refined foods and cutting down on junk will make your teenager healthier in so many more ways than just dental. Good habits early on do last a lifetime.

Best Dental Care

Leila Haywood

A Dentist's best of the best:  What's at home  Oral B Black with smart guide  2 minutes at night   Reach access flosser  and refills nightly   Clinpro tooth crème Vanilla Mint by 3M daily   occasional use of GC Tooth Mousse in strawberry flavour    

A Dentist's best of the best:  What's at home

Oral B Black with smart guide  2 minutes at night 

Reach access flosser  and refills nightly 

Clinpro tooth crème Vanilla Mint by 3M daily 

occasional use of GC Tooth Mousse in strawberry flavour 



The Dental Necessities: Best of the best for 2016

Just in case you ever wondered what a dentist uses at home.  My personal favourites as an independent opinion without affiliations are outlined.



This is absolutely the  best electric toothbrush I have ever used. Far superior to the Oral B Triumph that I used to own. Rates your cleaning out of 5 stars, times your cleaning, has a pressure sensor and smiles on a guide at you when you're finished. The best tooth brushes are in the professional series, with a pressure sensor and timer. They are much more effective and durable than the cheaper electric toothbrushes.

Brush for 2 minutes morning and night, never forget the night time clean and no snacking at all after, even a drink of milk.  Don't bother with the supermarket rechargeable ones, they break quickly and they're useless. Smaller kids don't usually like these because they're quite powerful.

Twice daily brushing is recommended because the average person is said to clean their teeth with about 60% effectiveness in research studies.

2. Reach Access Flosser:  

Floss between all of the teeth with minty refill floss cartridges, without even putting your hand in your mouth and easily clean between the very back teeth. Bacteria and food particles hide in between the teeth and need to be disturbed by flossing them out everyday otherwise it can cause the jaw bone to be eaten away, and cavities.  Easy to use and refreshing.

Floss between all teeth after brushing teeth each night, making sure to move the floss against the tooth surfaces each side of the gaps to scrape off the plaque that sticks onto the teeth in these hard to reach areas.

3. Clinpro Tooth Creme Vanilla Mint by 3M is a specialist remineralising toothpaste that I have been using for years. My kids use it too but it's not for kids under 6 years of age.

4. Tooth Mousse Plus by GC: is the gold standard for strengthening teeth but it requires an extra step. You apply a pea sized amount of it after brushing and flossing and don't rinse out. Not suitable for anyone with a milk allergy.
It's good for sensitivity, teeth wearing away and helping to remineralise the teeth. I don't use this all the time. 

5. Reduction of sugar intake :

Rare sugary treats and no addition of sugar or salt to anything. Mainly whole and unprocessed food. No artificial sweeteners.