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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: healthy smile

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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What are Porcelain Veneers

Leila Haywood

Porcelain veneers are very fine tooth-coloured porcelain covers which are seamlessly bonded to the front of prepared teeth. They are a more conservative treatment than a crown and can be used if the tooth is strong and healthy. 

They can be suitable for people who have very misaligned teeth, and for those who did not wish to have braces or Invisalign orthodontic treatment. 

If teeth are discoloured, worn, or chipped away, porcelain veneers may be a treatment option where the tooth can be rebuilt exactly as it ought to for best aesthetics and durability, and allows the dentist to rebuild your smile with a greater capacity to change the shade and shape of the teeth.

 

 Porcelain veneers placed by Leila Haywood in 2013

Porcelain veneers placed by Leila Haywood in 2013

Advantages: 

 

1. Feels just like the tooth 

2. Strong, durable and stable

3. The shape of the teeth and colour can be changed 

4. Finishes like glass, so it is stain free

5. 5 year laboratory warranty

6. Takes 2 weeks to have made, and temporaries are made 

7. They can be made to be extremely thin, down to 0.2 mm 

8. Precision fit and made by master ceramist in Australia

 

Disadvantages:

 

1.  Veneers mostly require some preparation of the tooth surface, which means these are irreversible

2. Costly 

3. Time - temporaries are placed for 2 weeks while our ceramist makes the veneer

4. Very rarely they can chip

5. Eventually a veneer will likely need to be replaced, they are very strong and long lasting, but may not last a life time

6. Excellent home care is needed, as well as routine checkups and professional cleans each 6 months to monitor veneers 

7.  Rarely veneers can debond or pop off - wear and tear on a veneer can be minimised by wearing a protective night guard or splint

Invisalign

Leila Haywood

The benefits of the INVISALIGN system of repositioning misaligned teeth go beyond a beautiful smile. Invisalign is a series of clear removable devices, which allow for improvements in appearance, along with an important impact on overall dental health by reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Invisalign can be programmed to correct teeth that have gaps, are misaligned or crowded, as well as correcting abnormal bite functions, where the upper and lower jaws do not come together properly, and where the tooth enamel can be worn away and damaged. Teeth that are crowded or not lining up correctly can result in gum disease, and when your teeth are properly positioned, the gums fit more firmly around the teeth, giving a strong defence against gum infections.


Invisalign appliances are designed for comfort and convenience, and are a cutting edge alternative to traditional braces, made of medical grade polyurethane resin to move teeth gradually and gently into their proper position in a virtually invisible way, without the unsightly brackets and wires that come with conventional dental braces. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you can brush and floss your teeth as normal, to maintain a high level of dental hygiene.  

Dr Amy Daley has certification and a decade of experience in Invisalign technology, and can explain the entire Invisalign process to you as well as customise a treatment plan for your specific needs.

Brisbane Invisalign

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. 

brisbanedentistgrinding.jpg

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.   

    First visit to the dentist & Child's Dental Benefits Schedule

    Leila Haywood

    Dental visits for kids

     

    Seeing the dentist at an early age is important to make that the children's teeth and gums are healthy. 

    Around 30% of preschoolers have never seen a dentist with many parents realising the benefit of having their child's teeth checked with the dentist before they’re three years old.  Around 25% of primary school aged children in Australia have tooth decay with 10% ending up needing a tooth extraction.  

    Some other data indicates that one in 3 children aren't brushing their teeth twice a day. 

    Tooth decay is preventable but is on the rise in Australia and affecting young children, even resulting in hospital admissions for dental treatment of severe infections.

    When tooth decay is untreated it can result in chronic infection and pain, and can affect a child's growth, development and general well being. In the long term, dental disease is known to be linked with poor health, including heart disease in later life.

     

    when a child should visit the dentist

    It is recommended that children be taken to the dentist when the first tooth comes through or at around 1 year of age. Early visits are important to ensure that an infant's teeth and gums are healthy, and to offer support and education before tooth structure gets damaged, because it happens with time, and can not always be seen easily. Changes to routine or diet can be implemented to prevent toddlers from experiencing damage to their teeth. Some children around the age of two have been admitted to hospital with severe damage and infections in their teeth, requiring removal of their baby teeth, with statistics showing that the number in Australia is over 20 000 children requiring these kinds of treatments in a year.  

    Regular checks of teeth allow issues with the teeth to be identified and addressed, and allows a dental professional the opportunity to treat issues at an early stage and to prevent complex issues developing.  

    Some parents are concerned about the cost of seeing a dentist, however there are some free public dental care services available for children in Australia, and the federal Child Dental Benefits Schedule provides eligible families with $1000 worth of dental treatment over two years, which can be used for a child between the ages of 2 and 17,  to see a private dentist. This is available for families who received a parenting payment or family tax benefit Part A.

    when should children brush their teeth?

    Brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before bed time, is the best way of reducing the chance of tooth decay in children.

    When a baby's first tooth comes through, this should be brushed with water and a child's toothbrush. 

    From the age of 18 months, a tiny dab of children's strength toothpaste can be used. Adult strength toothpaste can be used from the ages of six. It is important to brush your child's teeth until the age of 8, because children don't do it thoroughly. 

    Most children lose the baby teeth around the age of 6, with the last baby tooth being lost around the age of 12. Even though the baby teeth do fall out, they need to be kept in a healthy and strong condition so a child can chew and eat properly. They also save space for the adult teeth and for the bite to line up properly. 

    Most children will begin losing their primary teeth, also known as “baby” or “milk” teeth, from around the age of six. The last falls out about age 12. One in five parents indicated they thought it didn’t matter if young children got tooth decay since their baby teeth fall out anyway. 

     

    children's dentist

     

    Photo credit: Children's Books Daily

    notes about diet?

    Putting a child to bed with sweetened drinks or milky drinks is strongly linked to tooth decay and allows sugar to pool around the teeth for long periods of time. From the age of one babies should be encouraged to drink from a cup and should be put to bed after their teeth have been brushed. 

    More than 90% of tap water in Australia is fluoridated, which helps to make teeth stronger and prevent tooth decay.  Most bottled water in Australia has very little to no fluoride. 

    Most parents know that sugary food and drinks cause tooth decay, but more that 60% of Australian children exceed the recommendation from the World Health Organisation for sugar intake. 

    The recommended maximum daily intake of added sugar for children should be no more than five teaspoons.