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Fun at the Beerwah Street Party 2017 with Dental Excel

Beerwah Street Party 2017 | Fun with Dental ExcelDental Excel had so much fun at the annual Beerwah Street Party this year. We really enjoy connecting with the community, sharing our commitment to your dental health and having some fun at the same time!

The annual Beerwah Street Party was first introduced by the Sunshine Coast Council in 2014 to highlight and celebrate the recently-completed improvements to the area.

The event was such a huge success, and attracted far more people than was originally expected, that an independent committee was formed to make the event an annual one with the support and enthusiasm of all the local businesses on Simpson Street.

This year marked the fourth annual street party in Beerwah and was another great success, with thousands of Sunshine Coast residents turning out to take part in the festivities. The local Beerwah business community joined in with street stalls selling everything that Beerwah has to offer, and some amazing food to keep everyone happy and well fed during the entire event.

Dental Excel at the Beerwah Street Party 2017

Beerwah Dentists Having Fun | Beerwah Street Party 2017The Dental Excel stand saw many locals participate in our Instabooth, using ‘dental props’ to pose for photos. Our dentists joined in the fun, embracing the cardboard props and generally being not to serious!

David’s wire loop game took some concentration to complete, but was a huge success and drew some laughs too! Our ‘party bags’ flew out, and all-in-all, the evening was enjoyed by everyone. The Beerwah Street Party is a great way to begin getting ready for Christmas, and we enjoy connecting with our locals in a fun way. Not everyone embraces the dentists chair, but we are a great bunch of people, and do our best to make everyone feel at ease with us.

Dental Excel Beerwah dentists know how to have some fun, as well as how to care for our local residents’ oral health. Dentists don’t have to be dull! We are already looking forward to next year’s event 😊

Tips for Looking After Your Child's Teeth | Dental Excel Blog

Looking After Your Child’s Teeth from the Very Start

Tips for Looking After Your Child's Teeth | Dental Excel BlogMany parents find it difficult to judge when and how you should begin looking after your child’s teeth. It is never too early to start teaching your child how to look after their teeth and gums, and helping them to understand the importance of a healthy mouth and smile.

According to US dental professionals, even before the teeth appear, parents should be paying attention to the soft tissues of a baby’s mouth, and suggest that a soft, clean cloth could be run gently over those tiny gums to remove bacteria and avoid damage to the equally tiny teeth behind them.

When do the first baby teeth appear, and what should we do when they arrive?

Generally speaking, the front teeth appear first – two on the top and two at the bottom – at any time around six months of age. The rest of the baby teeth will gradually appear after that, until the age of around 2 and a half, when all 20 first teeth should be visible.

Very young children often suffer with teething problems as the first teeth break through the gums, resulting in symptoms such as (but not always):

  • Red cheeks
  • Swollen, painful gums
  • Raised temperature
  • Dribbling
  • Difficulty sleeping

Teething troubles can be eased with cooled teething rings that are widely available at pharmacies across Australia, or by gently massaging the child’s gums.

Brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth appears, with a soft, baby toothbrush and water. Baby toothbrushes are specially designed to be extra soft.

Opinions differ, however, on the use of toothpaste. Some dental professionals are against the use of toothpaste before the age of two, but others recommend a tiny amount of specially-formulated baby toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Everyone agrees that swallowing toothpaste should be avoided!

Speak to your own dentist about looking after your child’s teeth, and take your child to the dentist with you. Starting this regular routine early is the key to making sure your child gets off to the right start with dental hygiene.

Why it is important to establish a good routine early for your child’s teeth and gums

The baby teeth are the first teeth your child has, and they form a basis for the second, permanent teeth, which will begin to arrive around the age of six. Although the first teeth will fall out, they still need to be meticulously cleaned and looked after professionally to ensure a healthy set of permanent teeth will follow.

Getting everyone involved in looking after your child’s teeth

Getting young children involved in looking after their teeth and gums is crucial if they are to get on the right road to a healthy smile in later life. It is not always easy to persuade young children to do this, but there are a few tricks you can have up your sleeve to help establish a fun, regular routine, such as:

  • Find dental hygiene books and online videos developed especially for kids
  • Encourage your child to select their own toothbrush, or choose one in their favourite colour – remember that children’s toothbrushes are specially developed for tiny mouths, so ensure you pick a dedicated baby toothbrush
  • Encourage a daily routine of morning brushing after breakfast, and evening brushing before bedtime
  • Play a fun or favourite song for two minutes to encourage brushing over a period of time
  • Avoid sugary drinks or treats. This is the perfect time to introduce healthy snacks for children that won’t harm their teeth. (have a look at our recent blog post here for some ideas).
  • Offer a reward for good dental hygiene
  • Do something fun after a dentist appointment

Parents of young children want to make sure cavities are avoided, and looking after your child’s teeth right from the start can give them the perfect grounding for a healthy mouth and smile.

Dental Excel dentists take a fun, holistic approach to children’s dental care, and nothing pleases us more than to teach our young visitors how to look after their teeth and gums. Come and see us with your children, meet our special teddy that helps look after them while they are here, and start your child on the right path to a happy, healthy smile that they can keep for life with Dental Excel.

Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental Excel Blog

Choosing the Right Toothbrush – Dental Tips

Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental Excel BlogEveryone knows that brushing your teeth is an important part of the daily bathroom routine, and you need a toothbrush and paste to do that effectively. With a mind-boggling array of toothbrushes available, however, how do you know you are choosing the right toothbrush to use?

Toothbrushes are widely available today, in supermarkets, pharmacies and even in the local service station shop! As a general rule of thumb, unless your toothbrush is showing obvious signs of wear, you should consider changing it every three months or so.

It is also wise to consider changing your toothbrush after having a cold or flu virus, as the bristles can store bacteria, which in some cases can lead to reinfection.

How do you go about choosing the right toothbrush for you when there is so much choice?

Many people don’t realise that it is important to select the right toothbrush to suit your teeth and gums. Some of us will apply a simple strategy, such as the colour of the toothbrush, the grip style or the head shape that is most attractive. Cost can come into the fore too, and it can often be tempting to buy a cheap toothbrush, or a multipack for the whole family to save on the expense.

Although there is nothing wrong with applying these strategies to your next toothbrush shop, you should bear in mind that some types of toothbrush may not be suitable for your teeth and gums, particularly if you have any dental issues going on, such as overbite, overcrowding or problems with the wisdom teeth. You may have sensitive teeth, or struggle with plaque retention which will determine your personal needs to apply to your choice of brush.

We have put together a few tips that you could apply to shopping for your next toothbrush:

Ask your dentist for advice – dental professionals are by far the best to ask for advice. Your own dentist will know what type of toothbrush you should be using and can recommend some attributes to look for.

Here at Dental Excel, our general dentistry services include helping our patients to establish a good dental routine, and we can advise you in choosing the right toothbrush for your own particular needs.

Bristle texture – hard, medium or soft?

Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental TipsToothbrush bristles typically fall into three texture categories – hard – medium – soft. For most people, soft bristles are the right choice. This depends upon how vigorous you are when you brush, but hard bristles could damage the soft gingival tissues of the mouth if you are a vigorous brusher, and cause sensitivity.

Soft bristles are generally the safest and most comfortable to use, and should always be selected for children.

Head size and shape

Again, there is a huge range of toothbrush head sizes and types on the market. Choosing the right size and type is a personal thing, but as a general suggestion, the toothbrush head should fit comfortably in the mouth and be able to reach all the teeth.

Some modern toothbrushes have longer bristles located at the front of the head to enable easier cleaning of the back teeth, and some also have a rubber, grooved plate on the back of the head to make cleaning the tongue an integral part of the brushing process. These are useful additions to the toothbrush, but not always a necessity, particularly if you already have a good technique for reaching the back of the molars.

Children’s teeth require much smaller heads for clear reasons. They also need soft bristles to avoid damaging baby tooth enamel and the gums. Most manufacturers produce toothbrushes specifically for children and babies.

Handle

The handle of the toothbrush should be a comfortable length for you to hold firmly without it slipping. If you struggle holding your toothbrush, think about one with a rubberised handle to limit the chance of it slipping.

Cost

Although cost can often be a relevant factor, it does make sense to buy a well-branded toothbrush by a manufacturer that understands the importance of the toothbrush design. Buying the best that you can reasonably afford is probably the best way to go.

Our teeth can last a lifetime if properly cared for and monitored by regular check-ups at the dentist. Your dentist will always be the best person to recommend options for you when you are next ready for choosing the right toothbrush.

Do You Want a Whiter Smile? – Teeth Whitening Treatments

Teeth Whitening Treatments at Dental Excel | Cosmetic DentistryTeeth whitening treatments are amongst the most popular cosmetic dental procedures available today all around the world. Having a healthy-looking, bright white smile is near the top of the wish list for many people, and the latest treatments can bring about a remarkable physical transformation – fast and it won’t cost the Earth.

A person’s smile is the first impression they give to people they meet for the first time. Staining or discolouration of the teeth often takes away the intention to smile, or will inhibit the production of a natural broad smile or laugh. People who are conscious of their poor smile will likely hide their mouth behind their hand, supress a smile or turn away.

Having a healthy, white smile can provide a great boost to your confidence, and can make an impression on those around you.

What causes discoloured teeth?

Even if you adopt a regular dental care routine, there are still many factors that can lead to discolouration or staining of the teeth, most commonly:

  • Drinking red wine
  • Drinking tea and coffee
  • Foods with excess artificial colouring
  • Smoking
  • Illness
  • Medication

Boosting confidence and more with a whiter smile

Just knowing that your teeth look healthy, without stains or yellowing, can make a difference to your confidence immediately.

A recent study was conducted by Oral-B with 2,000 people participating. Amongst the most interesting responses were:

  • Whiter teeth can reduce your age appearance by up to five years
  • A whiter smile can make you 20% more attractive
  • White teeth can increase your chances of success in a job interview
  • Whiter smiles in the office can lead to better opportunities and pay

Although having a whiter smile won’t guarantee that you will get that job that you went for, find the partner or get you a pay rise, the increased confidence you feel after teeth whitening treatments always projects to those around you.

What is involved in professional teeth whitening treatments?

The practice of professional teeth whitening treatments by dentists is growing in popularity all over the world, for all kinds of reasons.

Here at Dental Excel, our teeth whitening service is a firm client favourite, and is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures we offer. Our treatments have been tried and tested, and are safe for your teeth and soft tissues of the mouth.

Following your consultation at one of our five locations, Dental Excel will make sure you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, and will advise you depending on your current dental health, and level of discolouration or staining.

Our experienced teeth whitening teams will make you comfortable in one of our dedicated patient lounges, and offer Zoom! teeth whitening system, which is our go-to solution, providing beautiful results within an hour. A UV light is applied during the treatment, and re-application of the gentle whitening gel can occur every 15 minutes or so, depending upon the level of treatment, as pre-determined by your Dental Excel dentist.

We can also help you to attain and maintain a whiter smile at home with our tray kits – ask us for more information.

Give us a call, or pop in to one of our Dental Excel locations in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast to find out more about our teeth whitening solutions.

Straight Teeth with Dental Braces | Dental Excel Blog

Straight Teeth Fast with the Latest Dental Braces

Straight Teeth with Dental Braces | Dental Excel BlogNot everyone is born with straight teeth and a good smile, but that is not to say that everyone cannot have them!

Although mostly worn by children and young adults, dental braces can provide the solution to crooked teeth and other issues for all ages, particularly today, with a variety of incredible, modern dental braces that need only be worn for a matter of weeks to deliver great results.

What types of problems can be fixed with dental braces?

There are a range of dental issues that can be addressed simply by wearing dental braces on your teeth for a relatively short period of time, with no surgical intervention:

Crowding of the teeth – teeth crowding is a common problem that can affect both the upper and lower teeth. Crowding can also lead to gum recession over time if not treated effectively, and can make brushing between the teeth difficult.

Spacing – many of us experience irregular spacing of our teeth with varying severity. Other issues that can arise as a direct result of spacing issues include posterior and anterior crossbite, which can lead to discomfort when eating, and can wear the teeth unevenly as we get older.

Bite issues – under, and overbite is also fairly common, and although most adults will suffer no immediate ill-effects from an uneven bite, it is an issue that can worsen as we age, causing problems with eating and uneven wear.

It is not uncommon to find patients that suffer from several of these issues simultaneously, with varying degrees of severity. Spacing and overbite, for example, can lead to gum problems and trouble eating as we get older.

Addressing these issues for a few weeks with a dental braces product can produce excellent results, deliver a comfortable, healthier mouth and a straighter smile for almost every patient.

Let’s take a look at some of the dental braces available at Dental Excel, Brisbane

Fastbraces

Fastbraces are a part of the next generation of dental braces, and, as the name suggests, they work quickly to help our patients with their smiles. As time is often at a premium for our patients, Fastbraces can deliver results within just 120 days, dependent upon the severity of the issue.

Designed, manufactured and tested in the US for more than two decades, Fastbraces are a popular, proven product for both patients and dental professionals as a non-surgical alternative to beautiful, straight teeth.

Inman Aligner

The Inman Aligner offers a removable, stand-alone treatment for periodontal issues, and can also be worn prior to cosmetic dentistry procedures to realign the teeth in preparation for dental veneers or bonding practices.

As the Inman Aligner works with tiny springs to gently guide the teeth into position, it works quickly over a wide range of movement, and can be predictably effective within 6-18 weeks with regular dental check-ups to monitor progress.

More about orthodontics in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast at Dental Excel.

At Dental Excel, you can be confident in our experienced, friendly team, who are dedicated to helping you achieve a beautiful, straight smile, and keep it for as long as possible.

Call us today to make your consultation appointment, and start your journey to a healthier, straighter smile with dental braces.

All About Dental Veneers | Cosmetic Dentistry

All About Dental Veneers – Are They Right for Me?

All About Dental Veneers | Cosmetic DentistryDental veneers are prosthetic devices that are placed over or on the natural teeth by a professional dentist to enhance the appearance of the teeth, either for medical or cosmetic reasons, and often to repair a tooth that has been damaged or discoloured.

The history of dental veneers

Dental veneers were developed in the US by a dentist named Charles Pincus in 1928 originally for the Hollywood movie scene. The first veneers were designed to be worn temporarily by actors to improve the aesthetics of the teeth for the camera.

He later developed acrylic veneers in 1937 that could be attached to the teeth with denture adhesive, again for temporary, aesthetic value. It was not until 1959 that Dr Michael Buonocore began to investigate the effects of etching the teeth to allow a more permanent bond.

Today, modern technology and dental practice has (thankfully) moved on, and the modern dental veneers found in cosmetic and general dentistry around the world can typically last for many years if applied by a professional dentist and cared for properly by the patient according to the advice of the dental professional.

There are two main types of dental veneers – composite and porcelain:

Composite dental veneers

Direct composite dental veneers can give almost immediate results in one sitting and minimal discomfort at a professional dental surgery. The material used is similar to white composite tooth filling material, and is built up across the surface of the natural teeth, before being shaped and polished to suit the wearer. Little or no drilling is involved in this type of procedure, and a healthy smile can be enjoyed almost straightaway.

Using this technique is a popular, cost-effective way of achieving a great, straight smile, and can address small cosmetic or medical anomalies, such as chips, discolouration or cracks in the tooth enamel.

Porcelain dental veneers

Porcelain Dental Veneers | Manufactured Precisely with a MouldPorcelain veneers are custom-made, fine shells that fit exactly over the affected tooth or teeth. These types of lab-manufactured veneers typically have better longevity and stain-resistance than composite ones, but again, this will depend on the professional dentist you choose, the aftercare you give the veneers at home, and the lifestyle you live.

Porcelain veneers require two visits to the dentist – one for preparation and to have a precise mould made, and second to fit the veneers when they have been custom-made to fit the recipient. A small amount of tooth enamel is sometimes etched to ensure a perfect fit for this type of veneer, and to ensure that the new veneer works beautifully alongside the other teeth.

There are other, ‘no-prep’ methods of fitting dental veneers, and your dentist will discuss these with you according to the result you require, and the methods your own dentist applies.

Are dental veneers right for me?

There are many reasons why a dental patient may opt for veneers. Although dental veneers typically fall into the cosmetic dentistry category and have been made popular by celebrities for a Hollywood smile, some patients select veneers to correct certain issues such as poor or thin tooth enamel, uneven teeth or discolouration.

The best way to decide whether veneers are right for you, and which type to choose if they are, would be to visit your dentist for a consultation. A good dentist will be able to offer a professional opinion, and will tell you if you are a good candidate for dental veneers.

How Dental Excel can help you

Dental Excel dentists across Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast provide both types of dental veneers, and are experienced enough to give you the best advice about your current dental issues. A thorough consultation for dental veneers is crucial, if a successful result is to be achieved, and Dental Excel dentists work closely with you to make sure that you are happy at every stage.

Find out more about our dental veneers on our dedicated cosmetic dentistry website page now.

Our dedicated teams work in friendly, relaxed environments, and are happy to talk you through both types of treatments, discuss the different types of dental veneer materials, and help you decide which is best for you.

Dental veneers are among the most popular type of cosmetic procedures at Dental Excel, and we know that correcting small imperfections in your smile can make a difference to your confidence. Make an appointment with Dental Excel today, and find out how dental veneers can help you keep a healthy smile for longer.

How to Clean Your Tongue | Dental Blog

How to Clean Your Tongue

How to Clean Your Tongue | Dental BlogCleaning your tongue can be an important part of your dental hygiene routine, and can help to remove plaque and toxins from the mouth. When performed regularly, bacteria build-up is inhibited, bad breath is reduced, and some patients experience an enhanced sense of taste because of a clean tongue. Let’s take a look at how to clean your tongue and what tools are available to help you.

What should you use to clean your tongue?

There are a variety of tools available to clean your tongue, and we will look at those below, but a good result can be produced simply by using your current toothbrush and regular toothpaste, depending on the level of cleaning needed. Using a combination of tools, in addition to your toothbrush, can sometimes produce the best results.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to advise you about the best methods to employ, and tools to use.

Tongue brush – a tongue brush is often located on the back of the head of a good-quality toothbrush, and will appear as a series of soft, plastic ridges. You can buy a dedicated tongue brush too.

Tongue scraper – these are available in different materials, such as copper, stainless steel, plastic and silicone. Metal scrapers can be easily sterilised and generally last longer than those made of other materials.

How to clean your tongue

If using your toothbrush, or a dedicated tongue brush, simply give your tongue a soft brush from back to front in long, firm sweeping motions. If you are prone to gagging, you may need to give yourself some time to do this, as the gag reflex is often triggered at the back of the tongue.

When using a tongue scraper, work with light pressure, as you are aiming for a gentle scrape that removes the thin layer of plaque and mucus from the tongue. Exerting too much pressure at this stage could lead to soreness or bleeding. Most harmful bacteria live in the centre of the tongue, so focus more on this area with either tool of choice.

Finish off by rinsing with plain water or mouthwash.

You can repeat this procedure after every brush and floss, for the best results and a clean tongue, but a minimum of once a week should suffice to keep your mouth clean and fresh, and to reduce significantly the likelihood of bad breath.

How Long do Tooth Fillings Last | Dental Excel Blog

How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?

How Long do Tooth Fillings Last | Dental Excel BlogThere is a widespread assumption that once a tooth cavity is filled by your dentist, the tooth fillings will last forever. This is a common myth, as the lifespan of a filling remains largely dependent upon the material that is used to fill the tooth. Other factors include the care you give your teeth every day as a part of your dental hygiene routine, and which teeth have been filled.

When do you need tooth fillings?

During a routine check-up at the dentist, your teeth will be examined for general health and condition. An experienced dentist is able to tell from the examination which teeth need to be filled or treated, if any, and will advise during the appointment about the different types of fillings available to suit your particular circumstances.

The most common reasons for patients needing tooth fillings are:

  • The appearance of a cavity, either in its early stages or ‘full-blown’.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Worn teeth, which can happen if the patient grinds their teeth or bites their nails.

What types of tooth fillings are available?

Historically and most commonly, tooth fillings were made from a silver amalgam substance, made up of a mixture of silver, zinc, copper, tin and mercury. Although this type of filling is still widely available, many dental professionals are looking to the latest materials for filling teeth to suit a patient’s individual requirements.

Modern dental filling materials include the use of:

  • Gold
  • Porcelain
  • Composite resin
  • Glass ionomer
  • Plastic

Which types of fillings last the longest?

The longevity of tooth fillings varies, and as previously mentioned, depend also on the care given to the teeth during a daily routine of brushing and flossing, and which teeth are filled – whether they are large or small teeth, and their position in the mouth.

Some types of fillings are unsuitable for certain groups of people, such as those with an allergy, for example, to the minute amounts of mercury present in amalgam fillings. Your dentist will be able to recommend the type of filling that best suits your needs, right down to budgetary requirements.

Let’s take a look at each type of modern tooth filling material to compare longevity expectations and advantages:

Gold fillings

Gold fillings can be more costly than other types of filling, but often please patients that prefer the look of a gold filling to a silver one. Gold does not corrode, and is expected to last for at least 10-15 years, often much longer.

Composite resin fillings

Composite resin fillings match the colour of the tooth, making them less visible than gold or silver amalgam fillings. Composite resin fillings mean a little more time in the dentist chair for treatment, and are expected to last for around five years, although with dedicated care, can last for longer.

Glass ionomer fillings

These types of fillings are most commonly used in children and for dental work below the gumline. Although made from a weaker material, glass ionomer releases fluoride and can inhibit further decay of the tooth. The latest types of glass ionomer perform better than the older types, which had a life expectancy of five years or less.

Porcelain (or ceramic) fillings

The average life expectancy of porcelain fillings is more than 15 years, with a cost comparable to gold fillings.

Dental Excel dentists in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast are experienced in all types of dental tooth fillings, working with our patients closely to achieve oral health. We can advise our patients during a routine appointment about the best types of fillings to suit their personal taste and circumstances.

Contact us to make your family appointment today, and let us help you with friendly and professional advice, and top-class dentistry to make your fillings last.

Broken Tooth? | Emergency Dentist Services Dental Excel

What to Do if Your Tooth is Knocked Out

What to do if Your Tooth is Knocked Out | Dental BlogAccidents do happen occasionally, and having a tooth knocked out is a pretty big deal. Although the odds of saving a knocked-out tooth reduce as you get older, it is far more common these days for permanent teeth to be saved or re-implanted.

An intact tooth is always worth trying to save, however, if the tooth is broken into pieces, the likelihood of saving it is almost negated.

Let’s see what you can do if your tooth is knocked out.

Children’s first, or baby, teeth are never re-implanted, but they should still be examined by a dental professional as soon as possible following the trauma, particularly if the tooth wasn’t loose to begin with, just to make sure the gums are not damaged.

When a tooth is knocked out, an occurrence known in the professional dentistry world as an ‘avulsed tooth,’ the blood vessels, supporting soft tissues and the nerves all sustain damage. Although the nerves and blood vessels cannot be effectively repaired, the bone often will re-attach to the root after the tooth has been re-implanted.

The first things to do once the tooth is knocked out

  • Pick up the tooth by the part that ‘chews’. Try not to touch or handle the root part of the tooth, as this can cause further damage to the most delicate part.
  • Rinse off any excess dirt with clean water or milk. Do not dry the tooth, as the root could become damaged.
  • Call your emergency dentist and make an appointment, explaining what has happened.
  • Many experts recommend that you try to re-seat the tooth in your mouth, where it was before it was knocked out. If you can’t do that, then place the rinsed tooth in a container with a lid. Ideally the tooth should be kept moist, so cover the it with milk or cool, boiled water.
  • In an emergency situation, if you have none of the resources mentioned above, you can simply hold the tooth in your mouth, against your cheek, to keep it moist while you get to the dentist.
  • Get to your dentist as quickly as you can.

What the dentist can do to save your tooth

Depending upon the severity of the injury, and how much time has passed since the tooth is knocked out (ideally under an hour), your dentist should be able to re-implant the tooth during a root canal operation.

Your dentist may perform a temporary ‘fix’ to reseat the tooth, and wait before performing root canal treatment. Every case will be different, but a normal, straightforward process should take three to four weeks for the bone to re-attach to the root.

Dental Excel offers emergency dentistry at all our practices on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane. Should you have a tooth knocked out, contact us as soon as you can to try to save the tooth. We will if we can, but we need your help too, so follow the guidelines above and get to us quickly.

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel Blog

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel BlogGum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is more common than you might think.

In the US, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention data, one in two Americans over the age of 30 has some form (or stage) of gum disease.

As the early stages and symptoms of gum disease are often painless, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the most common symptoms.

Only then can you work towards prevention of a condition that can become progressively more serious if left to develop.

What causes gum disease?

Bacteria is constantly present in the mouth, and forms a colourless film over the teeth and gums called ‘plaque’. Plaque should be removed twice daily by brushing and flossing. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can transform into a hard substance called ‘tartar,’ which forms around the teeth and beneath the gum line. Once tartar has formed, it cannot be removed by simple brushing alone, and should be attended to by a dentist or hygienist professionally.

Although gum disease can be caused by a poor dental hygiene routine, there are other factors that can lead to the onset of periodontal issues, such as:

  • Smoking – smoking not only increases the risk of gum disease, but can also reduce the chance of successful treatment.
  • Diabetes – sufferers of diabetes find they have increased risk of infections.
  • Medication – one of the most common side-effects of certain prescription medications is the reduction of saliva production, which is a natural protector of the mouth tissues.
  • Hormonal changes – changes in hormone levels, particularly in women and girls, can lead to gum sensitivity and an increased risk of gingivitis* (see below).
  • Hereditary – some families are more prone to gum disease and other periodontal issues.

What to look for

The most common early warning signs of gum disease are easy to detect, and at this stage, less complicated to treat than at later stages when the bones that support the teeth can become affected. Therefore, it is important to understand the first signs of gum disease, so that you can address it quickly before it progresses. There are three main stages of gum disease, each carrying similar symptoms with varying degrees of severity. The most common signs to look for include:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is one of the first signs that your teeth and gums are developing problems, and is a mild form of gum disease. Sufferers of gingivitis will find the gums growing redder, and likely to bleed when touched, brushed or flossed. Inflammation is usually mild, and in certain cases swelling of the gums around the teeth can occur.

Catching gum disease at this early stage can be addressed simply, with a scaling treatment at the dentist to remove tartar from the teeth, above and below the gum line, then the establishment of a good brushing and flossing routine to prevent re-occurrence.

Halitosis

Halitosis is a condition that is also known as bad breath. Prolonged periods of bad breath, sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant or metallic taste in the mouth, can be a good indication of gum disease in its early stages. There are many causes of halitosis, and sufferers may or may not be experiencing an early sign of gum disease. Your dentist will be able to confirm the cause and treatment of halitosis quickly and easily.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated. This advanced stage can be identified by inflammation around the teeth, swelling and a bright red colour. During this stage, gums can become tender to the touch, and can begin to withdraw from the teeth, making them appear elongated.

Spaces can develop between the teeth, forming periodontal ‘pockets’ that can become filled with food and bacteria, leading to infection.

This stage of gum disease can cause damage to the soft periodontal tissues and can contribute to the loss or reduction of the bones that support the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis should be addressed immediately by a dental professional.

Loose or misaligned teeth

Once gum disease has progressed to the later stages, the teeth may begin to feel loose. This is sometimes most obvious while eating. When the bones that support the teeth begin to suffer from infection, you may notice that your bite feels different when eating.

If you experience loose or misaligned teeth, it does not necessarily mean that you have late-stage gum disease, as there are other issues that could contribute to the problem, but a visit to your dentist will tell you all you need to know.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to your dentist is the best way to confirm the onset of gum disease. Generally, the progression of gum disease is slow, and attention in the earliest stages, such as gingivitis, can help to prevent the onset of more serious progression.

How Dental Excel can help with gum disease prevention

The friendly and professional teams at Dental Excel Caloundra, Beerwah, Bracken Ridge, Palmwoods and Wurtulla are experienced in the treatment of every stage of gum disease and are happy to support you in your journey to a healthy mouth and smile.

We also work proactively to help our patients of all ages establish a regular dental routine, which is by far the best way to tackle the issue of gum disease. We can help you to prevent the onset of periodontal problems, and can work with you to find the best options for you should you require further treatment.

Contact us today to make an appointment in one of our five dental practices local to you. With high-quality dentistry for all the family, and a range of opening times to suit your requirements, let Dental Excel help you to prevent gum disease, and keep your healthy smile for life.

Finding Healthy Snacks for Children | Pleasing Parents and Kids | Dental Excel Blog

Six Healthy Snacks for Children That Won’t Harm their Teeth

Finding Healthy Snacks for Children | Pleasing Parents and Kids | Dental Excel BlogFinding treats and healthy snacks for children to eat between meals can deliver a battle for some parents. It is about pleasing them, and getting them to choose something healthy at the same time.

Sugary snacks and drinks will please them, but can also lead to dental health issues later, such as cavities, so let’s take a look at some great alternatives to sugar-filled snacks that won’t harm their teeth.

The earlier in life you begin the introduction of healthy snacks, the easier it will be to offer them.

Vegetable sticks

Carrots, celery sticks and broccoli make wonderful healthy snacks for children, but some kids can be tricky to convince! Getting them used to a wide variety of raw and cooked vegetables when they are at toddler stage is the key to success.

Great ‘portable’ snack food for trips to the park.

Fresh Fruit

Strawberries, raspberries, grapes and apples are much healthier snacks for children, but do contain heavy natural sugars. While natural sugars can still affect the enamel of the teeth, as sugars turn acidic in the mouth, they are still far less harmful than the processed sugars contained in many snack foods.

Dried fruits, such as raisins, apples, pitted dates, cranberries, apricots and banana also make great snack foods for kids, and are easy to pack for days out.

Encourage your child to drink water and rinse the mouth after eating fresh fruits.

Whole grain bread with peanut butter

This is more like it! Many children love the taste of peanut butter, and it contains the type of fat the body needs. Using whole grain bread rather than sugar-laden white bread inhibits the sugar intake, and is much healthier for the teeth.

You could try cream cheese, vegemite or similar spreads to give to kids who don’t like, or can’t eat nuts. Plain crackers also make a good alternative to bread.

If your child is prone to allergies, consult your GP before giving whole grains or nuts.

Cheese

The calcium content of most cheeses makes for a healthy snack for children of all ages. Cheese is also useful in its ability to help neutralise plaque acids in the mouth.

Buy ‘portable’ snack cheeses or cut into manageable chunks for trips out.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a traditional movie-goer food, but over recent years has become widely available in a variety of flavours. Try to avoid the syrupy-flavoured, sugar-filled varieties and instead go for a plain or salted popcorn, which makes the best snack food for children and is great for outdoors snacking.

Flossing after eating popcorn should be encouraged, as the kernel cases can easily become lodged between the teeth.

Yoghurt

Although yoghurt can be messy, particularly with young children, it makes a great healthy snack food. Plain yoghurt is better for the teeth, rather than using fruit-filled varieties, but you could add manageable chunks of fresh fruit yourself for a tasty treat.

Yoghurt can also be frozen into delicious ice lollies for warmer spells.

It is worth experimenting with different combinations of foods to produce healthy snacks for children. Many parents understand the benefits of teaching children from an early age to appreciate fresh foods, not only for healthy teeth and gums, but for better general health. Learning how to brush and floss the teeth is also critical to give your children the best chance of a healthy smile.

Dental Excel support you in your search for healthy snacks for children

Dental Excel dentists can work with parents to determine a regular dental care routine for your child. We enjoy showing the next generation how to keep their smiles bright and their teeth healthy, and know how to make a routine visit to the dentist a good experience for them.

Contact us today and make your family appointment at Dental Excel. With high-quality dentistry at all five practices across the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, Dental Excel has a friendly and professional dentist local to you.

What is Gingivitis and What Can You Do if You Have it?

Gingivitis is an inflammation caused by a build-up of plaque around the teeth and over the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to problems in the mouth, such as bleeding gums, bad breath and recession of the gums from the teeth. Gingivitis is also an early-warning sign of gum disease.

Plaque is a colourless coating of bacteria that is consistently produced by the mouth, and leaves a film over the teeth and gums. The toxins in the bacteria are usually removed when a daily brushing and flossing routine is established.

If plaque is not removed regularly, the toxins begin to attack the delicate gum tissues, which can lead to a hardening of the plaque, or a transformation into tartar. At that stage, only a dentist can remove it.

How can you tell if you have Gingivitis?

As Gingivitis is not painful in its early stages, many sufferers can be unaware that they are affected, although some sufferers experience tenderness in the gums.

The first signs can include a reddening of the gums around the teeth, and small amounts of blood on your toothbrush or dental floss after brushing. You may also notice a small change in your gums, as a softening of the soft tissues around the teeth (gingival tissues) is a common symptom. There may be some recession of the gums, and this will make the teeth look longer.

If you suspect you may have Gingivitis, a dentist will be able to confirm or deny your suspicions very quickly during a routine check-up, or with a general appointment. Make sure you address this quickly with your dentist, and avoid any progression of the disease to something more serious.

How can Gingivitis be treated?

If caught at an early enough stage, Gingivitis can and should be treated quickly, to avoid a progression of the disease into Periodontitis, which can leave the sufferer with permanent damage to the teeth, connective tissues and the bones of the jaw.

Treating Gingivitis at an early stage is a straightforward process, involving removal of the hardened plaque or tartar build-up above and below the gum line by your dentist during a ‘scale and polish’ treatment. If the disease has progressed to another stage, or has led to Periodontitis, your dentist will give you advice about treatment that you need.

How can Gingivitis be prevented?

Prevention of Gingivitis is far better than treatment, and is very easy. The establishment of a regular brushing and flossing oral routine is the only way to prevent the onset of Gingivitis and other issues that can affect the delicate periodontal and gingival tissues of the mouth.

Looking after your teeth and gums can not only give you a healthy mouth, but can elevate your confidence levels and make you feel happier.

  • Maintaining a regular brushing and flossing routine, in addition to making sure that your dentist has a regular look inside your mouth, ensures that plaque is removed and is not allowed to build up to unhealthy levels.
  • Using a bacterial mouthwash can also help, and is a good addition to your bathroom cabinet.
  • Tartar-control toothpaste products are readily available, if you are susceptible to Gingivitis, and should be used twice-daily
  • Flossing with a good-quality dental floss product once a day to remove bacteria between the teeth.

Dental Excel dentists in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast can help you with Gingivitis if you are affected. Contact us to make your appointment today, and let us help you keep a healthy mouth for life!

Five Ways to Fight Bad Breath

Fighting Bad Breath | Dental Excel BlogAlmost everyone suffers with bad breath at some point in their lives, often caused by foods, smoking, certain medications or even crash dieting.

Some people simply have ‘morning breath’, which can easily be ‘cured’ by brushing and flossing, or with the use of a good mouthwash. Children and young adults often have days when their breath is bad-smelling, sometimes attributed to hormonal changes in the body.

Most cases of bad breath are temporary and mild, but sometimes can point to a more serious, underlying cause, particularly if the sufferer experiences it for a prolonged period.

Experiencing bad breath can place the sufferer in an awful position. It can be embarrassing, particularly if you work in an environment in close proximity to other people. Some sufferers are not even aware that their breath is bad. Not everyone is comfortable with telling someone they have bad breath, and those sufferers do not get the chance to receive treatment.

What is halitosis?

Halitosis is the medical term given with a clinical diagnosis of bad breath. Halitosis is not the same as ‘ordinary’ bad breath.

What causes halitosis?

The causes of halitosis can be wide-ranging, but the most common causes are:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Gum disease
  • Low-carb diets or fasting
  • Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)
  • Medication
  • Alcoholism

What can you do to fight bad breath?

Visit the dentist

It is a good idea to find out what is happening in your body to cause bad breath before you can begin treating it, and the best way to do this is to visit your dentist. Don’t be shy! Your dentist or dental hygienist is specifically trained, and has seen many, many cases of bad breath in all guises before you.

Regular trips to your dentist for routine check-ups at least twice a year will ensure that any underlying issues can be spotted earlier and treated more effectively.

Improve dental hygiene routines

Often, poor dental hygiene is the root cause of breath smelling badly. Improve your dental hygiene routine by brushing and flossing at least twice a day, particularly after eating. Cleaning the tongue regularly can also help to improve your breath, as can the use of a good quality mouthwash.

Take a trip to your local dentist and ask them for tips and advice to help you.

Stop smoking

If you are a user of tobacco products, whether cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco, then you are at higher risk of contracting gum disease or other periodontal issues that can lead to bad breath.

Tobacco products can produce a foul smell of their own that can become offensive when breathed out. Smoking cessation improves oral health, and reduces the likelihood of Dry Mouth and halitosis.

Keep hydrated

Drinking water instead of coffee or tea can not only reduce occurrence of bad breath, but can also improve oral hygiene significantly. Keep your mouth moist and hydrated throughout the day for the best results.

Drinking green teas can also be beneficial, as they contain polyphenols that can help to reduce the sulphuric compounds present in the mouth and throat, subsequently reducing oral bacteria.

Avoid certain medications

If you suffer from halitosis, taking certain medications can exacerbate your condition. Although it can be difficult to avoid certain medications if you are unwell, speak to your GP about possible alternatives if you suffer with bad breath as a result of taking:

  • Antidepressants
  • Pain killers
  • Antihistamines
  • Products containing sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Diuretics

How Dental Excel can help you

Dental Excel in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast can help you if you are suffering with bad breath. We take a holistic approach to your oral hygiene, and are happy to discuss your condition with you, offering some real, practical advice that you can put into practice straightaway.

We strongly advocate the practice of taking regular oral health checks at your dentist. Your dentist or hygienist can be your closest friend and ally when you suffer with bad breath! Contact us today, and let us help you with your condition.

Dental Phobia | How to Cope | Dental Excel Blog

What is Dental Phobia and How Can You Cope with It?

Anyone who suffers with a dental phobia will understand how terrifying a simple, routine visit to the dentist can be. Symptoms vary according to the severity of the condition, but can include:

  • Dental Phobia | How to Cope | Dental Excel BlogA build-up of fear over days leading up to the appointment.
  • Loss of sleep.
  • Sweating and nausea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • A debilitating anxiety on the day, often leading to cancellation of the appointment.
  • Paralysing terror in the waiting room.

What is a dental phobia?

The widely-accepted definition of a phobia is ‘an intense, irrational fear’ of something. It is not simply a dislike of attending, which many people have for the dentist, hospital or the doctor, but a condition that leads to the inability to face that fear; igniting the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction, and leaving sufferers with the inescapable thought that they will do almost anything to avoid the situation.

A dental phobia is an intense, irrational fear of the dentist.

Sufferers of dental phobia face frustration, anxiety, physical symptoms and as a result, embarrassment when they have a routine appointment approaching. It is an uncontrollable condition, often entirely misunderstood by the people around you. The symptoms are very real, and can be terrifying.

Can dental phobia cause health problems?

Dental phobia, if not overcome, can lead to severe oral health issues. Regular dental check-ups are vital to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and if not attended at least twice a year, issues that may arise in the mouth can easily be missed.

Some dental phobia sufferers can put off routine dental care for years, and will suffer in silence with dental issues, such as pain in the gums or teeth, infection or even broken teeth to avoid a visit to the dentist.

Sufferers of dental phobia face a heightened risk of gum disease and can lose teeth earlier in life than a patient who attends for regular check-ups. Also, the appearance of the teeth can suffer, which can have a knock-on effect to self-esteem. Discolouration is common in teeth that are uncared for professionally, and conditions such as misalignment, overbite or underbite are not recognised early enough. There are many conditions that can be treated quickly and easily with a regular visit to the dentist, as they are spotted early enough to make treatment possible.

At a regular visit to the dentist, patients can ensure that plaque does not build up, and a quick scale and polish can do wonders for the health of your mouth and your confidence.

What can you do to begin coping with dental phobia, and how can Dental Excel help you?

The physical and emotional effects of dental phobia can be treated, and should be addressed, as over time they can only get worse.

For effective treatment of your condition, you need to assess the level of the phobia, and give yourself a little time to work out what will work best for you. Generally, the biggest fears people have are; the fear of pain, the lack of control they experience in the dentist chair and also, the self-consciousness that one’s mouth may be unsightly. All these things (and many more) can trigger an attack of acute anxiety or dental phobia.

Dental Excel dentists on the Sunshine Coast are experienced in handling patients coping with dental phobia on many levels. Our friendly dental nurses and reception staff are also trained to recognise your symptoms, and are happy to help you to overcome your fears.

We have a few ideas, and tricks up our sleeves to assist you with your dental treatment concerns, whether you experience nervousness or a full-blown dental phobia. We enjoy a relaxed, friendly atmosphere at all our practices, and extend a warm welcome to our patients, who benefit from our warm approach. We want to help you keep your teeth for life, and enjoy having us look after you!

Here are some things you could try:

  • Make an initial call to one of our four dental practices on the Sunshine Coast, or our practice in Bracken Ridge – talk to us about your fears.
  • Call in to one of our dental practices and meet the friendly teams. The atmosphere in all our practices is relaxed, we all work better that way! Talk to us and take a seat in the waiting room for a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the place.
  • Ask to see one of the treatment rooms.
  • Ask to sit in a dental treatment chair.
  • Make an appointment with one of our friendly, experienced dentists. Once you have talked through your appointment, you may find you feel more relaxed.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about treatments – we are more than happy to listen and discuss your options with you in advance.

Dental Excel dentists are skilled in pain relief, and can offer you a range of options, including Happy Gas, should you require advanced treatment beyond your regular check-up.

Dental practices today are not what they were a decade ago. Advancements in treatment and technology have brought changes to dentistry, and if you haven’t been to the dentist for a few years, you may be pleasantly surprised at these changes.

Dental Excel technology includes some of the very latest in next-generation dental care practices, such as the Intra Oral Camera, which allows you to see what we see. We pride ourselves in keeping up-to-date, ensuring we can provide our patients with a holistic approach to dentistry. Let us help to alleviate some of your concerns – talk to us today at Dental Excel.

Aging & Dental Care | Dental Excel Blog

Aging and Dental Care – Why is Good Oral Health More Important as We Get Older?

Aging and Dental Care | Dental Excel BlogDental care is, and should be, an important part of our hygiene routines at all stages of life. As we approach later life, the fact remains that changes in our bodies may require a little extra focus on our health, and our dental routines need to adapt and change too.

Aging is a natural, inevitable process that affects our bodies from top to toe. Since most adults over 55 are now keeping their own, natural teeth for longer, compared to just a couple of decades ago, a few changes to the regular dental care routine can only serve to help keep our healthy smiles in place for even longer.

Certain medications that are more likely to be ingested by us as we age, and indeed, some of the conditions we are more likely to develop, such as diabetes, can lead to problems in the mouth and gingival tissues that we would not have needed to address as closely in our younger years.

Did you know that analgesics and other pain medication can mask dental pain? Therefore, it is even more important for us to adopt greater care in our health routines as we age, and maintaining good oral health with regular dental check-ups is a vital part of that.

Common conditions that can affect aging and dental care for oral health

Diet and nutrition play an important role in our oral health as we get older. An inadequate, or poor diet can have a detrimental effect on general health, but can also lead to disorders of the oral cavity. Eat properly during aging and dental care has some help! Another issue that is almost exclusive to the aging population is the wearing of dentures. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to a reduction in the desire or ability to eat properly, which is not conducive to a good nutritional intake.

Let’s look at some of the common symptoms of the aging process that can affect oral health:

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is far more common in the aging populations across the world. Even when carefully managed, diabetes can exacerbate the risk of gum disease, dry mouth and even thrush.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications given to the older generation to combat typical medical issues associated with aging. Dry mouth can also encourage decay more quickly within both teeth and their roots.

Gum Disease

Without regular, good oral health care, plaque can build up around the teeth and gums, spelling problems in later life with the heightened risk of infection and gum disease. Gingivitis, the swelling, soreness and bleeding of the gums, is the first sign of gum disease.

Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can be painful, and limit the types of foods that can be eaten comfortably. Sensitivity in the teeth can be caused by a thinning of the enamel, gum disease or cavities, all of which can occur in later life, although are not limited to age. A good oral health routine can help to prevent tooth sensitivity.

How Dental Excel can help you to maintain good oral health in later life

Dental Excel understands the difficulties and challenges that our patients face as they age. Our aim is to work towards the prevention of common oral health issues within the aging and dental care process, with the establishment of a good oral health routine. It is a common misconception that losing teeth as we grow older is an inevitability – properly cared-for teeth can last a lifetime. We are all aging and dental care routines need just minor adjustments, and a little more attention, to keep on top of our oral health.

Regular check-ups are a must for all ages, but particularly as we get older, in order for us to keep a close eye on your oral health.

Ill-fitting dentures are surprisingly common, and we offer a range of solutions to help you stay happy and comfortable with your dentures. Dental Excel embraces the very latest in dental implant and implant bridge technology, and can help you, even if you have previously been diagnosed with low jawbone density problems.

Find out more about All-on-4 Permanent Dentures at Dental Excel.

Contact Dental Excel today to make your appointment with our experienced teams at Beerwah, Bracken Ridge, Wurtulla, Caloundra and Palmwoods. We are dedicated to helping you to keep your beautiful, healthy smile for as long as possible with a good oral health routine, and the latest technology at Dental Excel.



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