While maintaining your oral health through brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist is crucial, your diet is just as important. Sugary foods, such as candy and soft drink, contribute to tooth decay. Starchy foods such as bread, potato chips and pasta are also linked to tooth decay as they break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth, producing acid in the process that breaks down tooth enamel, creating cavities.
Below are some food choices that are good for your teeth and may even help prevent or reverse dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
1. Crunchy Fruit and Vegetables
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, celery and cucumbers. Eating fresh, crunchy produce increases your intake of healthy fibre as well as being great for your teeth by stimulating saliva production and stimulating the jaw.
Cheese can combat the impact of acid erosion on teeth caused by carbohydrates, sugars and citrus. A study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouth, reducing their risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains calcium and protein which strengthen tooth enamel.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories and improving oral health. They’re high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel as well as containing folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including treating gum disease in pregnant women.
Fatty fish (such a salmon) is a fantastic source of vitamin D, which is essential for your body to absorb calcium. This means eating fish can help you get the full disease-fighting benefits of calcium from the foods you eat.
Raisins are a source of phytochemicals, which is thought to kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria. Some compounds in raisins also negatively affect the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease. Naturally sweet, raisins don’t contain sucrose that leads to plaque formation.
6. Green and Black Tea
Compounds called polyphenols in black and green teas slow the growth of cavity and gum disease-causing bacteria. Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago found those who rinsed their mouths with black tea for a minute, 10 times a day, had less plaque buildup on their teeth than people who rinsed their mouths with water. Cranberries also contain polyphenols. However, the fruit is so tart that cranberry products often contain a significant amount of sugar.
Get a Checkup at King Street Dental Today
At King Street Dental, our professional and friendly team of dentists have extensive experience with everything from dental cleans and teeth whitening to dental implants and orthodontic treatments. Visit our clinic in Templestowe for high quality general and specialised dental care for people of all ages.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.
Great dental health is about more than just the health of your teeth, gums and mouth. Since your mouth is the gateway into your body, poor dental health can have consequences elsewhere. Bacteria from the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation and infection to other parts of the body as it spreads. Below are some common, serious health problems caused by poor dental health.
Several studies have found that people with poor dental health are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. People with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease, especially if these conditions like gum disease and periodontitis remain undiagnosed and untreated.
The bacteria associated with gum infection can enter the bloodstream, where they attach to the blood vessels, resulting in tiny blood clots, heart attacks and stroke. Remnants of oral bacteria have previously been found within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth.
The respiratory system can be impacted by oral health because bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and swollen gums can be breathed into the lungs or be carried there through the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria can cause respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Diabetics are more susceptible to oral infections such as periodontal disease. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true and gum infections can cause or intensify the severity of diabetes. Blood sugar levels tend to go haywire in response to gum disease. It is essential for diabetics to take good care of their dental health to prevent complications with their condition.
People with gum disease were four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis according to the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in the UK. Inflammation is at the core of both conditions. The oral bacteria from infected gums can increase inflammation throughout the body, increasing the risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory disease.
Infections anywhere in the body create a higher risk of developing kidney disease, including periodontitis. Gum disease can also weaken your immune system, making you more likely to acquire infections. Kidney disease can be fatal if it leads to kidney failure or cardiovascular disease.
There is also evidence that poor oral health can increase the risk of:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Infertility in women
- Pregnancy complications
- Blood cancers
- Kidney cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
The best way to prevent developing any of these serious health issues is by practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.
Book an Appointment Today at King Street Dental
At King Street Dental, we offer high quality general and specialised dental care in Templestowe. From dental cleans and teeth whitening to dental implants and orthodontic treatments, you can count on our friendly and professional team for all your dental health needs.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.
Everyone deserves a bright, healthy smile they are happy with. But for many of us, traditional metal braces are undesirable or impractical. Adults, in particular, can find it embarrassing to wear braces and for people who play contact sports on a regular basis, they can be dangerous. Those looking for an alternative can turn to Invisalign.
These removable, invisible aligners are easier and more comfortable to wear, which has made them widely popular as an orthodontic solution. Custom-moulded to your bite, the aligners slowly move your teeth to the desired position. You’re given a new set approximately every two weeks until your teeth are straightened.
What is the Treatment Process?
The treatment process for Invisalign begins with an initial consultation with a dentist at an approved clinic such as King Street Dental. Your dentist will determine whether it’s an appropriate treatment for you then take impressions and photos of your teeth.
These are then sent off to the Invisalign team, who 3D print a series of custom-made invisible aligners. Your dentist will give you three or four pairs of aligners every two or so weeks depending on your treatment plan and desired results.
When Do You Have to Wear Invisalign?
To be effective, you need to wear your retainers for as much of the day as possible (20 to 22 hours). You should only take them off to eat food, consume hot or sugary drinks, clean your teeth or take an occasional short break.
Is Invisalign Painful?
Unlike metal braces, Invisalign doesn’t irritate your cheeks and gums and you have the benefit of being able to eat whatever you want. You may experience temporary discomfort and an effect on your speech, but this tends to pass in a couple of days once your tongue gets used to having them in your mouth. After that, most people barely notice them — this makes it easy to wear them for most of the day.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
The average period of treatment is around 12 months for an adult or up to 24 months for a teenager, from getting your first aligners to fully correcting your teeth. Of course, this can vary depending on your specific case. Your dentist will provide you with a detailed treatment plan during your consultation, where you’ll get a better idea of the treatment length.
Taking Care of Your Aligners
Taking care of your invisible aligners is simple. Clean them by gently scrubbing with a soft toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Ensure you never wear your aligners while eating or drinking anything other than water as they can distort when coming in contact with heat.
Anything that contains sugar or acid can sit on your teeth beneath the aligners causing plaque and decay. Prevent this by quickly cleaning your teeth after every meal, drink or snack before putting your aligners back on.
Find Out More About Invisalign at King Street Dental
At King Street Dental, our dentists are approved to provide Invisalign orthodontic treatment from our clinic in Templestowe. Our professional and friendly team of dentists have extensive experience providing a wide variety of dental treatments from teeth whitening to dental implants.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.
When it comes to dental health, prevention is essential. That’s why regular visits to the dentist are important for every family member in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home. Dental health issues can often arise long before you notice any pain or other symptoms. But exactly how often should you visit the dentist and is it different for children and adults?
How Often Adults Should Book Dental Appointments
Generally speaking, you should book a dental appointment at least every six months to a year. The truth is that everyone has different dental health needs as well as different risk levels of developing dental health problems. The frequency of your dental appointments should be personalised based on that. This is something you can discuss with your dentist when you go in for a checkup.
How Often Should Kids Visit the Dentist?
It’s most convenient for your family to visit the dentist together. Fortunately, the frequency of dental visits for children is typically the same as for adults unless they have special requirements. For example, children and teenagers are more likely to require orthodontic treatment, which means they need to visit more frequently. Even if your children have pristine dental health, regular visits are a great way to help them feel more comfortable at the dental clinic, setting them up for a lifetime of good dental health practices.
Why Are Regular Visits to the Dentist So Important?
Regardless of the precise frequency, regular check-ups are essential. The professional dental cleaning you receive during your regular checkups is incredibly effective at removing plaque, tartar and staining, ensuring your mouth remains healthy and fresh. Dental cleans remove hardened plaque (calculus) your toothbrush can’t remove, helping to prevent gum disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist substantially lowers your risk of having a dental health problem in the first place.
They also give your dentist the chance to check your mouth for any signs of dental health problems such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, orthodontic issues and oral cancer. Early intervention is crucial if any of these problems are discovered. Treatment options for dental health issues when caught early are much easier, faster and affordable. Dentists can offer specific tips and advice for improving your oral hygiene at home during your check-up.
How Often Do Australians Visit the Dentist On Average?
Despite ongoing pleas for people to visit the dentist regularly, too many Australians neglect their dental health. A National Dental Telephone Interview Survey in 2010 revealed that only 55.5 per cent of adults had visited a dentist in the preceding 12 months. Children and seniors tended to visit the dentist more often while young adults are much more likely to avoid it only to regret it later when dental health problems start to occur.
Book an Appointment Today at King Street Dental
At King Street Dental, we offer high quality general and specialised dental care services to people of all ages from our clinic in Templestowe. Our professional and friendly team of dentists have extensive experience with everything from dental cleans and teeth whitening to dental implants and orthodontic treatments.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.
Missing teeth? If you have missing teeth, you’ll know only too well the impact that those gaps in your smile can have on your self-confidence as well as your health. Whether you’re missing teeth due to an oral infection, an accident or a medical diagnosis, there’s no reason why you have to tolerate those gaps, as dental solutions like dentures and dental implants are available at your local dentist in Templestowe.
What’s The Difference Between Dentures And Dental Implants?
Dentures and dental implants both treat the gaps in your smile, but they’re actually very different solutions. Dentures replace missing teeth and can be removed and reinserted, whereas dental implants replace both the roots of your teeth and your teeth and are permanent. Essentially, dentures are temporary substitutions for missing teeth that need to be removed for cleaning and maintenance, while dental implants are permanently fixed in position and are designed to act like natural teeth.
Commonly known as ‘false teeth’, dentures are a dental prosthetic that replaces missing teeth, usually a single tooth or several teeth in a row, but in many cases, they replace an entire row or both rows of teeth. As they’re removable, they’re not fixed and are supported and held in place by the gum. A wide range of dentures are available, including partial dentures, overdentures, upper dentures, snap-in dentures and implant-supported dentures.
There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal, which are screw-shaped and implanted into the jawbone, and subperiosteal, which are placed under the gum above the jawbone. Endosteal dental implants are made of titanium to provide long-term strength and stability and are the most common of the two. They’re used for patients with a wide, strong jawbone, whereas subperiosteal dental implants are used for patients with a shallow jawbone that may not support an endosteal dental implant.
Which One Is Right For You?
Your dentist will advise you on whether dentures or dental implants are the best solution for your missing teeth, or in some cases, you may have a choice. You’ll generally find that:
Dentures may be the best choice for:
- A single missing tooth or a missing tooth on both jaws.
- Patients with weak or unhealthy jaws that may not support a dental implant.
- Patients who may struggle to afford (more expensive) dental implants.
Dental implants may be the best choice for:
- Patients looking for a long-term solution to missing teeth.
- Those who want a more comfortable and natural looking solution than dentures.
- Multiple missing teeth (not necessarily in a row) across the upper or lower jaw.
Your local dental specialist will advise on the pros and cons of each, as well as suitability for your situation. It’s important to note that dental implants may not be suitable for all patients and that dentures may be a better solution due to your gums and jawbone structure than a permanent tooth implant.
To learn more about the denture and dental implant solutions we offer at King Street Dental Group in Templestowe, book a checkup online or contact us on 03 9841 8033 today.
Do I need a root canal? If you’ve been experiencing pain in your teeth or they’ve become overly sensitive and make eating and drinking difficult, there’s a good chance that you need a root canal treatment. For many people, the thought of getting a root canal is daunting, and something that they’d like to avoid if possible, but it isn’t a painful or complicated procedure at all. What’s more, due to the benefits, it certainly isn’t something that anyone should avoid.
Why Is Root Canal Treatment Important?
Root canal treatment is vital because it removes the infection that’s causing the inflammation and the pain you experience when eating or drinking. The infection is located in the dental pulp, which is the soft tissue inside the root canal, and can be caused by a variety of factors, including tooth decay and chips and cracks that have allowed food debris to settle inside the tooth. This increases toxic bacteria, which infects the pulp and surrounding nerves, and results in bad breath that won’t go away.
If there’s an infection in the dental pulp, a root canal may be required to remove the infected pulp tissue and surrounding nerves, and prevent further infection and abscesses forming that may result in the need to extract the tooth. While it’s possible to minimise the need for a root canal treatment with good dental habits and checkups at your local dentist in Templestowe, if you need a root canal it’s best not to postpone it as the infection in the pulp of the tooth could get significantly worse and may result in the need for a tooth extraction. If you notice any of these symptoms that indicate the need for a root canal treatment, book a dental checkup at your local dentist as soon as possible:
- Ongoing and significant pain when eating, drinking or putting pressure on the tooth.
- Holes, chips and cracks in a tooth.
- Discolouring or darkening on the tooth.
- Gum inflammation (gingivitis), abscesses or lesions around a tooth.
- Swelling around the neck and face.
While a root canal may not be required, by having a dental specialist inspect your teeth and determine the best course of action, you’ll feel more comfortable and enjoy better dental health. If a root canal treatment is required, that timely checkup could save your tooth.
Is Root Canal Treatment Painful?
Contrary to popular belief, root canal treatment isn’t a complicated procedure at all, though you’ll need an x-ray beforehand, so the dental specialist knows exactly where the decay is located. Local anaesthesia will be administered to the tooth so you won’t feel a thing during the procedure, and when it’s over, you’ll feel no more discomfort than if you’d just had a filling.
If you notice any of the symptoms discussed here or you’re overdue for a dental checkup, book a checkup online at King Street Dental Group in Templestowe, or contact us on 03 9841 8033 to learn more about root canal treatments and our available appointment times.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums and is usually caused by poor dental hygiene, but illnesses, medications and a history of family dental issues can also make some people more susceptible to gum and oral health complications. Periodontitis (the scientific name for gum disease) is often confused with gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums, but not all cases of gingivitis progress to periodontitis. However, if untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis. The main causes of both gum inflammation and gum disease include:
- A buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque contains toxins that cause inflammation and infection. Plaque buildup is usually caused by lax dental habits, including incorrect or infrequent brushing, not flossing and not having regular checkups.
- Medication. Some medications are associated with gum disease and inflammations as they reduce the flow of saliva which helps to protect teeth and gums by removing food debris.
- Illness. Severe illnesses that interfere with the immune system, like cancer, hepatitis, diabetes and HIV, put people at higher risk of infections, including dental infections.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
The onset of gum disease isn’t always apparent, which is why regular oral health checkups at your local dental specialist are vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and identifying the symptoms of periodontitis as early on as possible. These symptoms include:
- Swollen, aggravated, red or bleeding gums
- Pain while chewing or drinking
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Bad breath
If you have gum disease, you may also find that the teeth in the infected area feel loose. This is because periodontitis is an infection of the tissue that holds the teeth in place. This also explains why the ‘pockets’ that surround your teeth widen and deepen, trapping food and putting you at risk of further infection.
Depending on the severity of the infection, your dental specialist may need to refer you to a periodontist (a specialist in gum disease diagnosis and treatment) for treatment. This is only for severe cases, so to avoid a situation in which a surgical procedure like a bone graft or pocket reduction surgery is required, if you notice any of the symptoms of gum disease, book a checkup at your local dentist.
Gum Disease Treatment
The primary objective with gum disease treatment is controlling the infection and preventing it from spreading. Antibiotics may be prescribed and non-surgical procedures that your local dentist may use to treat periodontitis include:
- Dental cleaning. Treating gum disease usually involves removing plaque and tartar (a buildup of plaque that’s hardened) from the teeth and below the gumline.
- Scaling and root planing. This is a more advanced teeth cleaning and scaling (removing tartar buildup) procedure that also involves ‘planing’ (smoothing) rough spots on the root of the tooth to provide the gums with a clean surface to reattach to.
There are many benefits to teeth whitening, from enhancing your smile and overall facial appearance to making you look (and feel) younger and, for some people, even giving you a more positive outlook on life because of the confidence boost teeth whitening can deliver. While there are many advantages associated with whitening and brightening your smile, it’s very important to make the right decisions about the teeth whitening treatment you use.
In Australia, teeth whitening products are safe to use and won’t damage your teeth (as long as you follow the instructions with at-home treatments). However, there’s a significant price gap between some at-home (over the counter) treatments and professional treatments, and some treatments are significantly more effective than others. Naturally, you want the best results at the right price, so here we look at over-the-counter vs in-clinic teeth whitening.
Ease Of Use
How easy is the treatment? This isn’t a concern with the in-clinic teeth whitening procedures our experienced dentist in Templestowe offers, but if you’re opting for an over the counter teeth whitening treatment, you’ll need to find one that’s simple and straightforward to use.
Many people who’ve tried at-home teeth whitening treatments find them difficult to use, with most products requiring multiple treatments. In fact, some at-home teeth whitening kits must be applied 1-2 times per day for up to 2 hours over the course of several weeks. With professional teeth whitening on the other hand, there’s just a single visit to your local dentist.
How effective is the teeth whitening treatment? This is an important consideration when comparing over-the-counter products and professional procedures. While an at-home teeth whitening product may seem more affordable at first, if you need to apply it more than once it could be significantly more expensive in the long run.
Don’t forget that most at-home kits can only make your teeth 2-4 times whiter while a professional procedure performed by a qualified teeth whitening dentist can make your teeth 8-16 times whiter. That’s a significant difference and a major reason why more people are opting for professional in-clinic teeth whitening instead of over-the-counter kits. What’s more, some over-the-counter kits for use at home, like teeth whitening strips, provide inconsistent results because they can’t whiten the areas around the crevices of your teeth.
At King Street Dental Group, we use a specially formulated hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that entirely covers your teeth and, when activated by a state-of-the-art LED light, breaks down to allow oxygen to penetrate through the dentine and enamel, lifting discolouration from the tooth without affecting its structure. This provides consistent and effective results, brightening your smile by around eight shades (on average). We also offer Zoom Teeth Whitening, which is one of the most effective at-home teeth whitening solutions in Australia.
If you’d like to learn more about the professional procedures our teeth whitening dentists offer at King Street Dental Group in Templestowe or our at-home teeth whitening solutions, please contact us on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online.
Dental veneers, crowns and bridges are common dental treatments that can help you get your dental health back on track and boost your confidence. But which treatment is the right one for you? While your local dentist will determine whether a veneer, crown or dental bridge is the right treatment for your dental requirements, it’s advantageous to understand the differences, the processes, what’s involved and how each treatment could benefit you.
Dental veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures performed today, with porcelain veneers the popular variety. Unlike crowns and dental bridges, veneers are a strictly cosmetic dental procedure that involves your dentist fitting a thin shell over the front and sides of the tooth. This covers a wide range of dental imperfections and is suitable for:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Stained teeth.
As they’re a cosmetic dental procedure, dental veneers won’t improve your oral health or restore eating functionality, however, many people find them instrumental in boosting their confidence by restoring their smile.
Main benefits: Hiding minor imperfections in teeth and boosting self-confidence with a more attractive smile.
Dental crowns are a treatment used to cover a damaged tooth (saving it from extraction) and are an effective means of preventing further damage to the tooth and restoring eating functionality. They’re also used as a cosmetic procedure to improve appearance and can be used to cover cracked, chipped or discoloured teeth. The process is quick and simple; the crown is fitted and cemented over the damaged tooth and is used in cases where a damaged tooth can’t be restored with a filling.
Main benefits: Saving the tooth from extraction, preventing further damage to the tooth, restoring eating functionality (if affected) and covering cosmetic imperfections.
Dental bridges are the most extensive dental treatment of the three. While dental veneers cover imperfections like cracks or chips and dental crowns are fitted on top of a single tooth, a dental bridge fills the spaces left by one or more missing teeth. Filling the spaces left by missing teeth helps people eat better (and enjoy eating), prevents facial misalignment (sunken cheeks, for example) and can boost self-confidence with a restored smile.
A variety of dental bridges are available, with the most common type consisting of a crown at both ends of the bridge that are placed over the teeth either side of the gap. Other dental bridges involve a more extensive process and require dental implants which hold the bridge in place. These dental bridges are used to fill the spaces left by multiple missing teeth and can even be used to replace the entire row of teeth on the upper or lower jaw.
Main benefits: Filling spaces left by missing teeth, restoring eating functionality, maintaining facial shape and boosting confidence by restoring a natural smile.
To book an appointment at our family dental clinic or find out more about veneers, crowns, dental bridges and the other dental services we offer, please contact King Street Dental Group on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online.
A cavity is a hole that forms in a tooth as the enamel (the hard outer coating) and dentin (the inner layer) decays. Cavities are one of the most common dental conditions and everyone is at risk, from infants to children, teenagers and adults. The damage worsens if untreated and can lead to further dental problems, like periodontitis and other types of gum disease.
Depending on the severity of the cavity and your dental health, a few options are available. The most common treatments for cavities are fillings and crowns, however, if the decay is more extensive or the surrounding area is affected due to infection or gum disease, a root canal or tooth extraction may be required. Consequently, if you have a cavity, you need to see a dentist. Here are five of the most common causes of cavities.
Plaque, a sticky film that covers your teeth and hardens into tartar, is caused by not cleaning your teeth properly, consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks, or as is the case for many children and teenagers, a combination of the two. Plaque forms when starches and sugars aren’t removed from the teeth and bacteria turns them into plaque, which in turn hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar can’t be removed with a regular toothbrush, only with special dental tools, which is why regular dental checkups are so important to preventing cavities.
It isn’t only foods that are high in refined sugar, like soft drinks, ice cream and sweets that can cause tooth decay, as even natural foods like milk, honey and dried fruits that cling to your teeth can cause cavities. That doesn’t mean you should avoid these foods altogether, though you should be aware and brush your teeth or chew (sugar-free) gum afterwards.
Snacking on chips, cookies, juice and sugary drinks throughout the day is a leading cause of calories. However, it’s important to understand that snacking on anything without brushing your teeth, chewing gum or rinsing your mouth out with water afterwards to remove food can cause cavities. Having said that, if you need a snack, a healthy snack is the way to go.
As plaque forms quickly, it’s vital to brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking to prevent a cavity that needs a filling or crown, but there’s more to a good dental routine than regular brushing. If you’re to avoid cavities, you need to floss regularly and go for regular checkups at your local dentist to have your teeth properly cleaned.
People with poor general health are more susceptible to dental problems like cavities and tooth decay, especially those with gastroesophageal reflux disease or heartburn, or eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. These conditions bring stomach acid into the mouth which destroys the enamel on your teeth and interfere with the production of saliva.
Regular dental checkups, healthy diet and good dental routines are the best ways to avoid cavities. To book a checkup at our family dental clinic or learn more about our services, contact King Street Dental Group today on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online.