In commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day, we thank all the humanitarian workers that have fought, despite all odds, to protect us, and the people most in need. While we do our part and practice physical distancing to flatten the curve, our fellow frontliners have been working tirelessly to keep us safe, protected, and well-fed.

A big ‘Thank You’ to all the frontline essential workers. If not for their sacrifices, we would not have made it this far. And in this trying time, we believe that any small act of kindness can help brighten someone’s day. So, here we have shortlisted a few charity organisations which you can help support and give back to our frontline workers:

WHYQ Gift-a-Meal

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Credit: WhyQ

The WhyQ Gift-a-Meal initiatives let you sponsor meals for our healthcare heroes working at Singapore’s public general hospitals, and more recently, they started supporting migrant workers and nursing homes too. To donate, all you need to do is visit their website, choose how many meals you would like to donate, be it 1, 4,10, 50 or as many as you wish, and WhyQ will deliver it for you. Each meal only costs S$5 and will not be subjected to delivery charges and other fees.

“By gifting 1 meal, you have sponsored 1 Hero’s meal”, so let’s help our heroes do their job with a full stomach and an even fuller heart.

SGH Health Development Fund

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Credit: Melvin Lim

SGH Health Development Fund needs your help to continue supporting SGH healthcare workers to serve and care for the elderly and the more vulnerable. During this Covid-19 pandemic, the SGH healthcare workers have been doing home visits to help patients-inneed, especially those with severe or multiple health conditions. They provide services such as doctor visits, medical support to reduce readmissions, and nursing services.

To support this cause, you can donate to SGH Healthy Communities Fund via giving.sg. Your donations will be used to acquire necessary medical devices for these patients. A 250% tax deduction will be eligible for all donations until December 31, 2020.

Contribute.sg

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Credit: Contribute.sg

Donate any unused surgical masks, N95 masks or sanitising items that you don’t need to any of Contribute.sg’s drop-off points by courier service. Contribute.sg will give out your donations to those in the Voluntary Welfare Organisations, NGOs, and medical institutions within Singapore. Furthermore, Contribute.sg will also give out your donations to healthcare staff and drivers along with homebound patients and lowerincome families.

For hygiene reasons, remember to pack your unused masks in a zip lock bag or in the original box which it came with. You can find the drop-off points here and donate anytime from Monday to Friday, between 8am to 5pm.

Workout for Courage Singapore

Workout for Courage Singapore
Credit: Workout for Courage Singapore

Make a change to the communities around you and your lifestyle. Join Workout for Courage Singapore in giving back to those in need by working out. You read that right! Not only will your participation help fund the affected community, but you will also keep your health in check. Join any of the 400+ online fitness, yoga, and dance classes hosted by fitness leaders and celebrities for only $10 per 45-min workout session.

If you are a frontline worker reading, you can join for free too! All payments will be shared transparently daily on giving.sg, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards The Courage Fund. For more information, you can check their app WorkoutParty! or visit their website.

#HealthcareHeroes

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Credit: Healthcare Heroes SG

Besides donating money, there is another way of showing your gratitude—that is, showcasing your artistic talent! Dedicate your artwork as a tribute to our #HealthcareHeroes.

#HealthcareHeroes compile and collate all artworks ranging from drawings, paintings, illustrations, animations, calligraphic arts and doodles that deliver the message of well wishes and gratitude to our frontliners. To share your love, all you need to do is visit their website and upload your artwork.

“No gesture is too small when done with gratitude.” —Oprah Winfrey

Over 80 per cent of Singaporeans have mild to moderate symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, according to a 2003 report by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). 17 years later, the numbers have continued to rise and gum disease remains a big concern. When treated poorly, bacteria in the plaque can build up, harden and form “tartar” that normal brushing can’t properly clean. In advanced stages, it can cause an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place or worse.

It might be presumptuous to think that one small tooth problem can be that big of a deal. But severe gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes or pre-diabetes among dental patients. Higher blood sugar levels in diabetics lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response from the harmful bacteria in the gums leading to gum and bone loss known as Periodontitis. Diabetic patients with periodontal disease also have a higher chance of developing diabetic complications.

Additionally, periodontal disease is also a significant risk factor for a heart attack or stroke. Patients with severe periodontitis have a 3.5 times higher risk of dying from heart disease or kidney disease than from patients with mild or no periodontitis. Many pregnant women are predisposed to developing periodontal disease as well. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in a woman will promote an inflammatory response, which increases the risk of developing gum disease. If not treated, it can be a risk factor in preterm delivery, preeclampsia, and low birth weight.

How can you tell if you have gum problems?

  • Gum that bleeds even with gentle brushing
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath from your mouth
  • Receding gums from your teeth
  • Hypersensitive teeth
  • Gaps forming between your teeth as a result of teeth movement

Here are 5 common myths about gum disease we hear from our patients occasionally. Keep on reading to learn more about them and how you can keep your gums strong and healthy:

Myth 1: Teeth are more important than gums.

shiny-diamond-tooth-girl

Myth 1: Teeth are more
important than gums.

Both your teeth and gums are interconnected, so they are equally important. The gums are an important barrier to protect your teeth. If your gums are infected, your teeth may lose its support and this can lead to loosening of the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss. The teeth, on the other hand, when it has defective fillings or cavities act as a source of bacteria accumulation resulting in inflammation of the gums, it eventually leads to bone loss

Myth 2: No cavities mean no gum disease.

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Myth 2: No cavities mean
no gum disease.

Just because you don’t have any cavities, it does not automatically rule you out of gum disease. For a majority of people, gum disease is painless and asymptomatic, so it is not noticeable until it further develops in the later stages.

In the earlier stages, while it’s still recognised as Gingivitis, you may notice red, swollen or tender gums. Why does this happen? If you do not practice good oral hygiene by daily brushing and flossing, it can cause a buildup of plaque along your gumline that will irritate your gum tissues. When it’s not treated early, it can lead to advanced stages of gum disease, which could result in the loss of teeth.

Myth 3: Children can’t get gum disease.

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Myth 3: Children can’t get
gum disease.

Gum disease is often associated with adults. However, it does not mean that children can’t get it too. As mentioned earlier, gum disease may not present obvious symptoms so it can be tricky for you to identify in your little one. The treatment also depends on the symptoms your child may be having, their age and overall health. Certain medications that your child may be taking may result in red and swollen gums too.

Myth 4: You can ignore the signs of bleeding gums.

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Myth 4: You can ignore the
signs of bleeding gums.

Do you find your gums bleed easily? This could be due to your aggressive brushing or flossing, or it could just be an early sign of gum disease. Many studies have proven the link between diabetes and gum disease can go both ways. In other words, you really should not be ignoring the bleeding signs.

For diabetic patients, dry mouth is a common symptom; when there is a lack of saliva, you are naturally more susceptible to infections like gum disease and cavities because saliva protects you against disease-causing bacteria. Furthermore, diabetic patients usually experience higher blood sugar levels and this can often make it harder for your body to heal, thereby making gum disease worse.

Myth 5: Poor oral hygiene is the cause of gum disease.

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Myth 5: Poor oral hygiene is the
cause of gum disease.

While poor oral hygiene can cause gum disease, other factors could increase your risk of getting it too. For example, smokers and users of tobacco are two to six times more likely to develop gum disease. One of the many causes of this is that smoking affects your body’s natural defence mechanism to fight infections. Smokers also do not show clinical signs of gum disease as the bleeding in gums is reduced as Nicotine reduces the blood flow in the gums. Smokers may, therefore, have severe gum disease and not realise it as the usual signs of bleeding gums may be absent. This results in the destruction of gum and bone tissue. Smokers are also more likely to develop oral cancer.

Gum disease doesn’t just develop overnight, it happens gradually. The best way to prevent yourself from getting it is to visit your dentist regularly. If you’re due for a dental checkup or suspect you may have gum issues, come book an appointment with us here!

Have a specific topic that you would like us to talk about? Just let us know!

Everything begins in the mind, including habits. It happens when our behaviour goes into autopilot mode, and the decision-making part of our brains enters into a kind of default mode— which means less brainpower is needed to carry out an activity. Meanwhile, bad habits can potentially put your life at risk if you don’t break the unhealthy loop. At our clinic, we have patients who encounter dental problems caused by daily “harmless” habits which they’re not even aware of. So here are 7 common everyday habits that could be ruining your teeth:

Habit #1 Mouth breathing

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Habit #1 Mouth breathing

This habit affects at least 6 out of 10 children and adults, and it’s associated with dry mouth and dry lips. Now that wearing a mask is a must when we’re out in public, for those who are not used to it, you may find yourself starting to breathe through the mouth more than ever. When your mouth gets dry, the lack of saliva can result in a higher risk of tooth decay.

Meanwhile, mouth breathing in children is quite alarming as it affects the growth and development of the jaw, and this leads to crooked teeth. What’s more, if it’s left untreated for extended periods of time, it can set the stage for other health problems. Some signs of mouth breathing you can look out for are sleeping with the mouth open, the habit of drooling and snoring, and nighttime teeth grinding (look at habit #5).

Habit #2 Drinking soft drinks

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Habit #2 Drinking soft drinks

Soft drinks can be addictive and are also very harmful to our health. From diabetes to heart disease, you should really think twice before downing your next can of soft drink. Furthermore, the acids in these sugar-loaded drinks will wear away the enamel that is supposed to protect your precious teeth. As a result, it does not only change the appearance of your teeth, but also opens the door for bacteria which can cause cavities and infections. If you really cannot resist it, try drinking with a straw and then follow up with a water rinse.

Habit #3 Chewing on ice

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Habit #3 Chewing on ice

The best company on a hot and humid day—ice. In fact, some weight loss articles even promote ice munching as a healthier, zero-calorie “snack replacement”. From our standpoint, however, chewing on ice can damage your tooth enamel, and you may even risk cracking and chipping your teeth. Eventually, you may also find yourself extremely sensitive to the different temperature of food and drinks, which is not something you want to experience.

Habit #4 Using teeth as openers

Coast Dental Opening bottle

Habit #4 Using teeth as openers

Can’t find a blade/scissors/bottle opener? Use anything but your teeth. You only have a set of permanent teeth so please treat it kindly. When you use your teeth as openers, you run the risk of chipping your teeth, cutting your gums, tongue, or lips, among others. It’s really not worth it.

Habit #5 Grinding & clenching your teeth

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Habit #5 Grinding & clenching your teeth

Teeth grinding and clenching is a condition known as ‘bruxism’, and it usually occurs while you’re asleep. Here are some signs that you could be unconsciously grinding your teeth:

  • Wear marks in your teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Chipping of teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

While bruxism is a common condition, heavy grinding may result in teeth aching and loosening, teeth wear, and exposing the dentin (the layer under enamel) which increases the risks of sensitivity, decay, and discolouration. In fact, nighttime grinding can also be a cause for constant headaches, neck and shoulder aches, and tired jaw muscles. Imagine working out in the gym 7 days a week without giving your muscles a rest, and then keep doing it week after week, year after year. But this is where we step in—our dentists are able to spot the signs of your grinding habits during your check-up.

If you noticed your child has bruxism, there are usually 2 views on this: 1) It’s a natural development of synaptic pruning that occurs in the basal ganglia, typically among kids between age 3 to 10. Put it simply, it’s the natural rewiring of the brain; 2) It can be due to the lack of space in the jaw, resulting in tongue partially obstructing the airway. And this brings back habit #1.

Habit #6 Brushing too hard
or not brushing at all

Washing-teeth

Habit #6 Brushing too hard
or not brushing at all

It may appear that brushing your teeth harder with stiffer bristles will help remove plaque and stains off your teeth better. On the contrary, aggressively brushing your teeth can wear down and damage both your gums and teeth in the long run. So always remember to brush in gentle circular motions, and the ideal toothbrush for most people is one with a small head and medium-to-soft bristles. We also encourage simple massaging of the gums to gently remove plaque and this will keep your gums healthy too.

As for people who skip toothbrushing every now and then, the effects are more than just bad breath and a few cavities. Your mouth is the gateway to your body. This means that the health of your mouth can also affect your overall health.

Habit #7 Not going for dental check-ups regularly

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In general, you should be visiting your dentist at least twice a year to ensure optimum oral and dental health. When you’re proactive, we’re able to help catch any potential issues early and offer you the best solution before it turns into a serious problem. Also, with regular checking and cleaning, you will grow more comfortable with these sessions as there’s less inflammation of the gums!

If you’re due for a dental check-up, come book an appointment with us!

Have a specific topic that you would like us to talk about? Just let us know!