Tooth decay is common amongst children, which makes it seem like it is a passing phase that holds no serious threat. However, tooth decay that is left untreated is detrimental to a child’s oral development.

The breakdown or destruction of tooth enamel, the tooth’s hard outer surface from acid produced by harmful oral bacteria, is commonly referred to as tooth decay. Tooth decay in the deciduous teeth (commonly known as milk teeth or baby teeth) are oftentimes not given enough attention by parents. Parents may have the misconception that since their little one’s new set of adult teeth will grow out soon, the decay in deciduous teeth can be left untreated.

Even though the deciduous teeth will be replaced by adult teeth, it is still vital to protect the deciduous teeth and treat any dental decay that is present. The deciduous teeth need to be kept and taken care of until they naturally fall out and be replaced by adult teeth which will begin to appear from the ages of 6 to 12 years of age. The wisdom tooth is the last tooth to erupt, usually appears in the mouth at about 18 years of age.

Premature loss of the deciduous teeth can lead to problems in chewing and nutrition, speech problems, loss of space and crowding of the adult teeth and cosmetic concerns that can develop from adult teeth being misaligned.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

What-is-Baby-Bottle-Tooth-Decay

Tooth decay in infants and toddlers are often visible in the upper front teeth and it is referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

When an infant or toddler falls asleep with the bottle still inside the mouth, the deciduous teeth are exposed to the sugars in milk for a prolonged time. Saliva production is also reduced during sleep and this provides an ideal environment for the acidic breakdown of tooth structure. Acids produced by harmful oral bacteria eat away at tooth enamel resulting in the formation of cavities. This is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

Early Childhood Decay is a term used to describe tooth decay in deciduous teeth between the ages of birth to 71 months old, according to the American Dental Association.

3 Reasons for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

1. Sugary Drinks

Sugary-drinks

1. Sugary Drinks

The high content of sugar found in liquids such as infant formula or fruit juices can cause cavities in infants and toddlers. Although breastmilk is natural, it also contains sugars that can result in cavities. Therefore, it is essential to wipe your baby’s teeth or gums with a moist gauze pad as it will protect them from the accumulation of harmful acids.

2. Prolonged Exposure to Sugary Drinks

Prolonged exposure to sugary drinks

2. Prolonged Exposure to
Sugary Drinks

It is not implied that your baby’s diet should be rid of sugary liquids. However, you must be cautious about the amount of time taken for the consumption of sugary drinks. Prolonged exposure to such liquid can be harmful as tooth decay develops when bacteria in the mouth metabolise sugars to produce acid that demineralises the hard tissues of the teeth. When a baby’s teeth are consistently covered in sugar, dental caries or tooth decay may occur resulting in a toothache, gum infection and possible damage to the adult tooth.

The high levels of harmful bacteria that resulted from a diet of high sugar also cause a significant inflammatory response in the entire body. This can manifest as gut problems, sleep disorders, behavioural problems and even poor attention and memory.

3. Toothpaste

3. Toothpaste

Fluoride present in toothpaste has an important role to prevent cavities in children and adults. As our drinking water already contains sufficient amounts of fluoride (0.7 ppm), fluoride supplements are not needed in children even if they have several cavities.

4 Ways to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

1. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

1. Breastfeeding

There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding your baby which include strengthening the infant’s immune system, developing an emotional bond between mother and baby and strengthening the tongue and facial muscles which lead to proper jaw development.

As breast milk also contains sugars that can possibly cause cavities, ensure to wipe your baby’s mouth with a wet gauze after breastfeeding.

2. Form a Good Dental Hygiene Routine

Form a good dental hygiene routine

2. Form a Good Dental
Hygiene Routine

Ensure that your child is brushing his or her teeth regularly. To encourage your child to adopt good oral hygiene habits, lead by example! Brush your teeth with your child and make it a positive bonding experience that will turn a mundane task into a fun activity.

3. Regular Dental Visits

3. Regular Dental Visits

A common question we get is: When is the best time to bring a child to the dentist?

We often see orthodontic related problems as early as 3 years of age. Most often this results from habits that have occurred during infancy such as thumb sucking, prolonged usage of pacifiers and mouth breathing.

As such, we love to speak to parents about how to care for their infants. As a parent, you may bring your infant to our clinic if you are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding.

A tongue-tie or lip tie is a common problem that infants may have that make it difficult for them to breastfeed. We can also recommend a few lactation consultants to work with to facilitate a mum’s breastfeeding journey.

To help your child be free of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, put these tips into action! For starters, you can secure your child’s oral health by booking an appointment with us!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Baby bottle tooth decay. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-bottle-tooth-decay

2. Baby bottle tooth DECAY CAUSES, prevention, and more. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Bad breath is common among adults, and it is a dating deal-breaker for many! According to the American Dental Association, at least 50% of adults suffer from bad breath or chronic bad breath (AKA Halitosis). There are various reasons why adults have bad breath but 90% of bad breath comes from a dirty tongue, a problem that could easily be solved via the use of a tongue scraper. However, other factors such as poor dental health habits and other potential health problems can also result in bad breath. While at first glance bad breath is a simple and treatable condition, those who suffer from Halitosis can be indicative of serious ailments like diabetes and kidney disease. Read more to find out…

Did you know that 43% out of 5,000 respondents agreed that fresh breath matters the most when it comes to a potential date? The numbers have spoken and although it sounds a bit silly, this is no laughing matter. Bad breaths might just be the reason why you are not getting that second date.

What causes bad breath?

What-causes-bad-breath

The main cause of bad breath is bacteria that produce Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs). VSCs are the main cause of what makes the breath smell bad. The type of bacteria that produces VSCs are mainly Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in low oxygen regions and are commonly found where tartar build-up is excessive or in deep gum pockets.

A quick measurement of your gum pocket is indicative of the severity of your gum disease. This is because gum pockets create the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive in. In terms of gum measurement, 2-4mm is considered normal, however, anything deeper than 5mm of gum pocketing with bleeding is indicative of a high accumulation of anaerobic bacteria that results in gum inflammation leading to possible bone loss. These harmful bacteria also produce toxins that enter the bloodstream and are also associated with other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and stress. These are often the same bacteria that cause bad breath.

Bad breath can be caused by other factors too, such as food intake. When you go on a dinner date, watch out for food containing garlic and onions. These foods produce several sulfur-containing gases that are absorbed into our bloodstream, meaning our body would also exude an unpleasant odour. Tobacco products are perhaps the most notorious when it comes to bad breath as it dries up the fluids in our mouth that help wash away food stains and bacteria lingering inside.

Poor dental hygiene such as not brushing the teeth correctly, or not brushing at all, would also cause bad breath and gum disease. About 15% of bad breath may not be directly related to the mouth. It could be a result of upper and lower respiratory infection or a systemic illness such as diabetes or disorders of the kidney or liver.

The medical condition xerostomia (dry mouth in layman’s terms) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, as it helps prevent tooth decay and neutralise acids produced by plaque. It also washes away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and throat; if not removed, these cells will decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth could be caused by a number of factors such as medication or continuous breathing through the mouth, to which we would further elaborate.

5 Tips to eliminate bad breath

1) Correct mouth breathing

1) Correct mouth breathing

According to a study, breathing through the mouth is much more harmful than breathing through the nose. Mouth breathing causes the saliva in your mouth to dry up faster. Bacteria then easily multiply and thrive in a dry environment. People who sleep through the night while breathing through their mouth would experience dry mouth in the morning, and subsequently, would experience bad breath. So, breathe the right way — always through the nose. Proper nasal breathing will reduce the number of harmful particles entering your lungs and also improve the efficiency of oxygen transfer from your blood to your cells.

2) Maintain good gum health

Maintain good gum health

2) Maintain good gum health

It is indeed important to practise good dental hygiene such as flossing the teeth regularly and brushing at least twice a day. However, it is equally crucial to keep our gums healthy. To do this, you can visit your dentist regularly for general maintenance of your gums. And if needed, deep cleaning with laser disinfection to reduce the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth.

3) Consume probiotics

3) Consume probiotics

Lactobacillus probiotics or “good bacteria” aids in digestion and makes the process of food and medication breakdown easier. It is known that oral administration of Lactobacillus improves bad breath and provides additional benefits that greatly improve your body’s health. Foods that contain Lactobacillus probiotics are yoghurt, miso soup and kimchi, just to name a few.

4) Drink plenty of water

Drink-plenty-of-water

4) Drink plenty of water

Besides preventing dry mouth, water, much like saliva, helps wash away food particles and bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Furthermore, drinking water would also stimulate saliva secretion in the mouth, allowing the mouth to stay moist for longer periods of time.

5) Visit your dentist regularly

5) Visit your dentist
regularly

Be sure to see your dentist every 6 months to have your gums and teeth checked. Through professional help, any sign of anomalies would be detected and this could prevent any severe oral illnesses in the future.

Don’t ruin your chance for a second date and book an appointment with us now!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Probiotics: What is it, Benefits, Side Effects, Food & Types. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

2. Robertson, R. (2020). 9 Ways Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Benefit Your Health. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lactobacillus-acidophilus#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

3. Nasal, S. (2020). Mouth Breathing vs Nose breathing – Sinus & Nasal Specialists of Lousiana. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.sinusandnasalspecialists.com/mouth-breathing-vs-nose-breathing/

4. D, Wyatt Jr, A. (2020). Bad Breath Causes, Treatments, and Prevention. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath#1

5. Xerostomia. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.aaom.com/index.php%3Foption=com_content&view=article&id=107:xerostomia&catid=22:patient-condition-information&Itemid=120#:~:text=The%20exact%20number%20of%20people,types%20of%20patient%20populations%20studied.

6. Top 5 Foods That Cause Bad Breath. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.listerine.com.my/top-5-foods-cause-bad-breath

7. Bad Breath Causes – American Dental Association. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath#:~:text=Studies%20show%20that%2050%20percent,some%20point%20in%20their%20lives.

8. Campisi, G., Musciotto, A., Di Fede, O., Di Marco, V., & Craxì, A. (2011). Halitosis: could it be more than mere bad breath?. Internal and emergency medicine, 6(4), 315-319.

We all dream of having the perfect white pearlies to get that dazzling smile. In recent years, many home remedies have popped up claiming that they help maintain the whiteness of your teeth, but are they really that effective? Read more to find out…

White and polished teeth are something we all naturally want; it captures the radiant smile of a person and makes one more attractive overall. Hence, it is not a surprise that teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the years, especially with the rise of social media where we have never been more insecure about our appearance. From using lemon juice to oil pulling, and even brushing with baking soda, these popular home remedies for whiter teeth can be found in every corner of the interweb. But the big question is: Do they really work? Are they safe to use? How does it compare to proper teeth whitening procedures and what are the side effects?

What affects the colouration of our teeth?

What-affects-the-colouration-of-our-teeth

First, let’s discuss what affects the change of colour of our teeth. The colour of our tooth enamel is naturally white. However, with constant chemical reactions such as erosion and increased age, the enamel would slowly become thinner and the dentin (tissues beneath the enamel) would be exposed, causing the colour of the tooth to turn yellow in the process.  Certain food and drinks such as tea and wine are causes for teeth discolouration as they leave behind stains. But the biggest culprit is smoking and consuming tobacco products, so stay away from those if you want to maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

The “natural” way of whitening your teeth

Many teeth whitening articles on the net share a common theme—all-natural is the keyword. Most people would quickly identify something natural as a healthier and better option while something that has been made chemically is bad. In most cases, this may be true but it is not always the case especially when natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Here are 5 of the most popular ways to whiten your teeth at home according to the internet, and the adverse effects of it.

1) Lemon juice

oral-health

1) Lemon juice

Due to the high level of acidity in lemon juice, it was strongly suggested that it is a great teeth whitening agent. However, a study in 2015 found that lemon juice eats away the tooth enamel which is supposed to protect your teeth from decay. Unfortunately, unlike other parts of your body such as your nails, tooth enamel doesn’t regrow. So best steer clear of this acidic substance when whitening your teeth!

2) Brushing with baking soda

Chewing

2) Brushing with baking soda

Baking soda in moderate quantities is safe to use as it has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). In fact, it helps with the deep cleaning of the teeth if used correctly. However, do note that baking soda does not contain fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth and prevent dental cavities, so you will still need to follow up with another round of brushing using a regular toothpaste.

You should avoid brushing with baking soda if you are wearing braces. Due to its alkalinity, baking soda will soften the orthodontic glue that attaches the braces to your teeth.

3) Coconut oil

3) Coconut oil

Although research has shown that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the chance of plaque formation, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove oil pulling is beneficial to your oral health overall. That being said, it is safe to use coconut oil as “mouthwash” but in terms of effectiveness, there is no guarantee.

4) Activated charcoal

Gum-diseases

4) Activated charcoal

The toothpaste industry has seemed to push the idea that charcoal toothpaste can whiten your teeth and remove stains more effectively than regular toothpastes. However, the ADA has published their findings that using activated charcoal threatens the enamel and its high abrasive nature erodes the enamel easily, leading to the exposure of the dentin. Once the dentin is exposed, it can lead to dental complications such as tooth sensitivity.

5) Hydrogen peroxide solution (HPS)

Bad-breath-dry-mouth-and-cracked-lips

5) Hydrogen peroxide
solution (HPS)

Hydrogen peroxide is present in most whitening toothpastes, which makes it safe to use. It removes extrinsic stains (outside enamel), giving you the appearance of whiter teeth. However, high concentrations of the solution which is more than 3% would leave significant damage to the enamel and gum irritation. For people with sensitive teeth, please consult with your dentist before using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth.

The effectiveness of DIY teeth whitening compared to conventional whitening kits

Seek-support-from-loved-one

According to a scientific journal, a group of researchers compared the efficacy of DIY whitening such as strawberry puree mixed with baking soda and compared it to a conventional whitening kit, Crest 3D intensive, in order to test the colour change of the tooth. To summarise, the researchers use visual colour assessment to test the effectiveness of teeth whitening between the two methods.

The results? DIY teeth whitening remedy with the use of a strawberry mixture is not an effective tooth whitening modality as opposed to professionally dispensed whitening solution for at-home use.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is crucial for you to check with your dentist before attempting to whiten your teeth at home. Just like how skincare products would react differently on different skin types, there is no one-size-fits-all with teeth whitening remedies too. The best solution, still, is to let the professionals do it.

If you wish to consult us for safe and efficient teeth whitening, be sure to book an appointment with us!

References:

1. Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth? (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/teeth-whitening/does-coconut-oil-whiten-teeth

2. Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/natural-teeth-whitening

3. Teeth Whitening Myths: Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe. (2020, July 15). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://int.hismileteeth.com/blogs/news/teeth-whiteningmyths-is-hydrogen-peroxide-safe

4. 6 ways your teeth can become yellow. (2019, May 28). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://healthengine.com.au/info/6-ways-your-teeth-can-become-yellow

5. Wyatt Jr, A. D. (Ed.). (2019, May 12). Foods That Stain Your Teeth. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-foods-stain-teeth

6. The effect that smoking has on your oral health. (2020, February). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.qvh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/The-effect-that-smoking-has-on-your-oral-health-Rvw-Feb-2020.pdf

7. Bell, B. (2019, December 10). 6 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whiten-teeth-naturally

8. Zimmer S, Kirchner G, Bizhang M, Benedix M (2015) Influence of Various Acidic Beverages on Tooth Erosion. Evaluation by a New Method. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129462.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129462

9. Ciancio, S. G. (2017). Baking soda dentifrices and oral health [Abstract]. Baking Soda Dentifrices and Oral Health, 148(11), s1-s3, 1-3. doi:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2017.09.009

10.  Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth? (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/teeth-whitening/does-baking-soda-whiten-teeth

11. Peedikayil, F. C. (2019). Is coconut oil good for oral health? A review [Abstract]. Is Coconut Oil Good for Oral Health? A Review, 6(1), 1-3. doi:
https://www.jhrr.org/text.asp?2019/6/1/1/257477

12. Peedikayil, F., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report. Nigerian Medical Journal, 56(2), 143.
doi:10.4103/0300-1652.153406

13. Mullen, C. (2019, March 23). Charcoal is trendy. But in toothpaste? Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/lates-tnews/2019/05/charcoal-is-trendy-but-in-toothpaste.html?page=all

14. Brooks, J. K., DDS, Bashirelahi, N., PhD, & Reynolds, M. A., PhD. (2017). Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices [Abstract]. Charcoal and Charcoal-based Dentifrices, 148(9), 661-670. doi:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2017.05.001

15. Exposed Dentin: Causes and Treatment. (2020, March 14). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.proteethguard.com/blog/exposed-dentin-causes-and-treatment/

16. Johnsson, J. (2019, August 23). Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening: Does it work and is it safe? (1080855568 821090807 C. Frank DDS, Ed.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326148

17. Kwon SR, Meharry M, Oyoyo U, Li Y. Efficacy of do-it-yourself whitening as compared to conventional tooth whitening modalities: an in vitro study. Oper Dent. 2015 Jan-Feb;40(1):E21-7.
doi: 10.2341/13-333-LR. Epub 2014 Oct 3. PMID:25279797.

18. Watson, S. (2020, April 17). Crest 3D White Whitestrips Whitening + Therapy Dental Whitening Kit. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://crest.com/enus/products/crest-3d-white-whitestrips-whitening-therapy-dental-whitening-kit

Gum lines are different for everyone. Although a gummy smile might look good on others, it can also affect one’s self-consciousness. Uneven gum lines can be corrected via laser gum contouring. Open to read more:

Gum lines are different for everyone—some are high, some are low, some are in between and some are uneven. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetics and environmental causes such as mouth breathing are some of the common reasons. The usage of some medications such as nifedipine (anti-hypertensive) and phenytoin (anti-epileptic) are other causes that may contribute to the excess gum tissue.

Our gum lines are part of what defines our smile. For some people, having uneven gum lines or a gummy smile can make them feel self-conscious. Excess gum tissue can also give the illusion of having smaller teeth that may not compliment the smile. There are plenty of ways to overcome this. If your uneven gums are stopping you from showing off that beautiful smile, you might want to consider having laser gum contouring as one of the available options.

What is laser gum contouring?

What-is-laser-gum-contouring

Laser gum contouring, or also known as gingival sculpting, is a dental procedure that reshapes your gum line by removing excess gum tissue around your teeth. This procedure not only improves the cosmetics of the smile but can also improve the general maintenance of the gums by removing excess gum tissue that may contribute to poor oral hygiene.

Laser gum contouring with the Waterlase is a fast, efficient and comfortable way to remove excess gum tissue. The Waterlase uses water, air and laser energy to gently vaporise the excess gum tissue. This not only helps to seal the wound while killing off the bacteria but also brings greater precision and less trauma to the gum tissue.

Laser-Gum-Contouring

The procedure is carried out with minimal downtime where off-the-counter pain relief medication is sufficient to manage any discomfort. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with a numbing cream which makes the actual procedure relatively pain free.

A similar procedure can also be carried out to resolve hyperpigmentation (dark gums). Sometimes, gum hyperpigmentation can be mistaken to be due to smoking, however, this is a non-smoking related cause. If you have always disliked the dark colour of your gums, the Waterlase can be used to remove the pigmentation in the gums.

Benefits of laser gum contouring

Benefits-of-laser-gum-contouring

Laser gum contouring also doesn’t require cutting, stitches, and sutures. What this means is that the procedure is relatively painless and requires a shorter healing time.

All in all, laser gum contouring is a very safe procedure. So, if you are looking to correct your gummy smile or uneven gum lines, you can book an appointment with us at Coast Dental!

References:

1. Benefits of Laser Gum Recontouring: San Francisco: Marin: Oakland CA. Glen Park Dental. (n.d.).
https://www.glenparkdental.com/benefits-laser-gum-recontouring/.

2. Laser Gum Contouring: What You Need to Know. Image Dental. (2021, February 19).
https://www.myimagedental.com/blog/laser-gum-contouring/.

3. Laser Gum Depigmentation: What It Is and Is It Right for You? Dr. John Paul Gallardo. (2021, June 1).
https://www.miamiperio.com/blog/what-is-laser-gum-depigmentation.

Most kids neglect to brush their teeth because they do not find any joy in the act. As a parent, it is your responsibility to get your child to develop good oral hygiene habits to combat oral health complications in the future. Here are 5 strategies you can put to action to help your child form a better relationship with tooth brushing.

Regular oral care is vital for your child to stay healthy as tooth brushing is essential in removing the bacteria and plaque that is responsible for tooth decay, gum disease and other oral complications. However, most children struggle to commit to a dental hygiene routine; they may unwillingly do it after throwing bouts of tantrums. For parents, this can be a tiring process fueled by frustration.

However, with the right strategies, parents can help their child commit to long-term dental habits that will keep their smile bright for many years to come!

Here are 5 ways you can help your child commit to brushing

1) Make a game out of it

Make-a-game-out-of-it

1) Make a game out of it

Children will naturally commit to things that they find pleasure in. Use your creativity to turn a seemingly mundane task into a fun activity! If you are not sure how to do this, here is a pro tip: kids are drawn to actions that come with a reward.

You can make a game out of this. For example, if your child is able to commit to brushing their teeth every day, grant them the privilege to choose what they want for dessert on the family’s next visit to a restaurant.

2) Select fun toothbrushes

Select-fun-toothbrushes

2) Select fun toothbrushes

Try to purchase a toothbrush that comes in their favourite colour or fun designs to readjust their perception of the product. In this present moment, they may view it as a piece of equipment that sparks no joy in their lives, but if you can find a toothbrush that is visually pleasing, it could serve to encourage them to pick up the toothbrush more often!

Allow your child to select their toothbrush on your next shopping trip, this will also instil a sense of ownership in them and hopefully, this will encourage them to put their toothbrush to use!

3) Select age-appropriate
toothpaste for them

Select-age-appropriate-toothpaste-for-them

3) Select age-appropriate
toothpaste for them

Toothpaste developers have the responsibility to create flavours that will be appealing for children as their job is to encourage, rather than hinder the development of good oral habits in children. Our doctors have also advised that toothpaste for children must contain lower concentrations of fluoride due to the fact that children have a tendency to swallow their toothpaste. As such, it is crucial for parents to purchase age-appropriate toothpaste for their little ones.

4) Commit to the process with them

Commit-to-the-process-with-them

4) Commit to the process
with them

Coordinate your routine with your child’s schedule and brush together! Set an alarm for brushing so that every day when the clock starts ringing, you will both know what to do. This can turn into a period of bonding for both of you, which will motivate them to commit to tooth brushing.

Incorporating good dental hygiene habits begins with your own routine. If your child sees you brushing your teeth next to them, it will influence them to mirror you! After all, you are their greatest role model. You can also use this time to exemplify the correct techniques for tooth brushing. Show your child how to use brief, gentle strokes to clean their teeth. Dental professionals have advised the general public to brush at a 45-degree angle to cleanse the space between the teeth and the gums – where germs and bacteria take residence in. Do not forget to brush your tongue, too!

5) Do not associate tooth brushing with negative outcomes

Do-not-associate-tooth-brushing-with-negative-outcomes

5) Do not associate
tooth brushing with
negative outcomes

To get your child to feel more empowered and motivated to practise oral care, they should associate brushing their teeth with positive outcomes. In other words, this means you should try your best to steer clear of perceived negative events before they start brushing their teeth.

For example, you should get them to brush their teeth before they take a bath so they can break the negative link between tooth brushing and bedtime. Alternatively, you can get them to brush their teeth before you tell them a bedtime story so their brains are wired to believe that a positive event is followed by tooth brushing.

This also means that if you ever find yourself upset at your child, try to avoid telling them to go brush their teeth in an angry tone. They may associate toothbrushing as a punishment rather than an essential daily habit.

Once you have put these 5 steps into action, remember to be patient and consistent. If your child initially shows little to no interest in your efforts in helping them, stay calm and keep trying. Tooth brushing is a habit that is meant to be deeply ingrained in a person’s mind at a young age but nobody said it was ever going to be easy. Trust the process and know that one day your child will thank you for their beautiful smile!

Speaking of beautiful smiles, if you or your child are due for a dental checkup, book an appointment with us!

The smile is often the focus of attention during conversations and it can significantly affect first impressions. So, if you are struggling with chipped, gapped, misshapen or discoloured teeth, veneers are a great option to help you achieve your desired smile.

Veneers can give you a customised smile that will suit your face, skin tone and personality. There are different types of dental veneers—porcelain veneers and composite veneers. To find out which dental veneer is the best for you, keep on reading.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

What are Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin shells that are custom made to fit on the teeth. These shells are similar to that of a false fingernail. However, making these porcelain veneers is an intricate process carried out by a skilled dentist and dental lab ceramist. The artistry that goes behind the fabrication of these veneers gives the teeth a natural and elegant appearance.

The translucent properties of the porcelain give the teeth a sense of depth as the veneers mimic the light handling characteristics of the enamel. Porcelain veneers are strong and long-lasting.

They also have a natural-looking surface and don’t stain easily. They are a great option to replicate and recreate the natural look of the teeth.

What are Composite Veneers?

What are Composite Veneers

What are Composite Veneers?

As for composite veneers, they are made from a tooth-coloured filling material bonded to the tooth. The veneers will be matched with your natural tooth shade, applied in layers to the tooth surface and sculpted directly into your mouth.

Many advances have been seen over the decades in advancing the technology that goes behind manufacturing composite materials. The newer composite materials appear very natural and can rival the natural appearance and beauty of porcelain.

Composite veneers are usually best suited for the improvement of the appearance of 1-2 teeth. For the right clinical situation, they may also be used to improve the appearance of up to 8 to 16 teeth. But in most instances, composites are great for small improvements in the shape or size of the teeth. For an entire smile makeover, porcelain veneers may be the better option.

Both composite and porcelain veneers can be used to give the appearance of straighter teeth and correct minor misalignments.

Porcelain Veneers vs Composite Veneers

Porcelain Veneers vs Composite Veneers

At Coast Dental, we first scan your teeth and do something known as a trial smile. This trial smile gives you a preview of how your teeth can look like if you were to do veneers. We use a scanner instead of traditional impression materials, thereby, making the entire process very comfortable.

Our lead ceramist Mr Alvin and principal dentist Dr Nijam will design a smile for you and give you a preview of how it will look like. The patient gets to be involved in the entire process to choose the colour, shape and size of teeth.

So, feel free to bring in a photo of a celebrity’s smile and we can follow some elements of what makes their smile look great. The teeth will be prepared minimally based on the plan to create your new smile. In about three weeks, you can then get your brand new customised smile.

A beautiful smile never goes out of fashion. Here at Coast Dental, we can give you your desired smile! Other treatments such as the Align Bond Colour (ABC) is also available here. Book an appointment with us now!

References:

1. Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers: Which is Better? Your Dentistry Guide. (2019, April 18). https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-materials/

2. Dental Veneers. Aspen Dental. (n.d.). https://www.aspendental.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-veneers.

3. Hoover, D. D. (2017, October 27). Porcelain vs. Composite Veneers – Main Street Family Dentistry. Medford NJ Dentist. https://www.drshoover.com/porcelain-veneers-vs-composite-veneers/.

4. Wilkinson, A. the A. S. (2018, October 10). Composite Veneers vs Porcelain: What You Need to Know! – Churchfield. Churchfield Dental Centre.
https://www.churchfielddental.co.uk/composite-veneers-porcelain.

We would like to inform you that our team at Coast Dental are adhering to the COVID-19 procedures set by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ensure your health and safety.

At Coast Dental, we take all the necessary safety measures to ensure a safe and pleasant dental experience for all our patients.

First things first, all our patient visits are appointment based. As such, you will not see a crowded waiting room and you will only experience minimal waiting time before you see your doctor.

The air in the reception area is constantly purified by our clinic air purifiers. All patients who are visiting the clinic are first screened over the telephone by our staff to ensure that they are not experiencing any flu-like symptoms or fever.

If you are feeling unwell but need an urgent dental consultation, kindly speak to our staff and request a virtual or telephone consultation with our doctors.

Our treatment rooms are thoroughly disinfected after every patient
Our treatment rooms are thoroughly disinfected after every patient
We practise high standards of infection control.
We practise high standards of infection control

We follow all protocols set by the Ministry of Health (MOH), meaning all our staff members wear masks and practise thorough hand washing and sanitising guidelines. All contaminated surfaces are thoroughly disinfected and the air in the treatment room is purified for 15 minutes in between every patient visit, adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions.

We use Waterlase for our procedures to reduce aerosol production.
We use Waterlase for our procedures to reduce aerosol production
At Coast Dental, we follow all protocols set by MOH to ensure your health and safety
At Coast Dental, we follow all protocols set by MOH to ensure your health and safety

Doctors and dental assistants wear full PPE that includes gowns, face shields and N95 masks to protect themselves and patients during treatment. For many procedures, the WATERLASE iPLus all-tissue laser is used instead of the traditional drills as it produces 98% fewer aerosols.

We trust that the measures we have in place will create a safer and more pleasant dental experience for all our patients.

To book an appointment with us, click here.

Have you ever felt insecure about smiling due to tooth discolouration? There are numerous methods for removing teeth stains and preventing them from occurring in the first place. Here are a few pointers to help you keep your smile healthy and camera-ready!

We are constantly bombarded with images of pearly whites from the media day in, day out, to the extent that the global teeth whitening market was valued at USD 6,140.75 million in 2020 and is predicted to accumulate a net worth of USD 8,207.2 million by 2026.

As such, tooth discolouration is often associated with a sense of embarrassment. We would like to inform you that the darkening of your teeth could be a part of ageing—in other words, it can be out of your control.

We tend to find more faults in our oral condition with age. For example, the darkening of our teeth occurs as a natural effect of ageing. As we get older, the outer hard tissue covering our teeth, called enamel, wears away and exposes the darker dentin beneath it. This can cause our teeth to appear more grey or yellow rather than white.

However, the good news is that there are an array of solutions to reverse teeth stains, which means you still have a fair shot at achieving a smile that will boost your confidence at any age. Before we dive into these solutions, it is important for us to understand specific lifestyle choices that reduce the quality of our teeth, as these are factors that are within our control.

4 Lifestyle choices that darken your teeth

1) Food and drinks

Food-and-drinks

1) Food and drinks

The consumption of tea is often attached to a variety of health benefits that improve our daily functions. However, high consumptions of brew, especially the basic black variety, can produce more stains than coffee. Both tea and coffee contain coloured pigments and are also mild to moderately acidic. Both factors contribute to the staining of teeth.

Tomato-based sauces and curry are also a key offender to teeth stains. While tomatoes and curry are a great source of nutrition, the pigments that are responsible for their rich colour can deteriorate the colour of our teeth.

2) Tobacco use

Tobacco-use

2) Tobacco use

Your teeth have pores that are vulnerable to the tar and tobacco that is found in nicotine. Although nicotine is colourless on its own, when combined with oxygen, it turns yellow. This means that even nicotine-infused “e-juice” from electronic cigarettes can stain your teeth. Smokers’ teeth often become darker than others as a result of their inhalation method.

In regards to chewing tobacco, the brown tobacco that is in contact with saliva which often rests on the teeth for a long period of time will result in a dark liquid that is detrimental to the natural colour of our teeth.

3) Poor dental care

Poor-dental-care

3) Poor dental care

A lack of frequent brushing and flossing can lead to the accumulation of plaque and food stains. Skipping professional dental cleanings and poor methods of cleaning can also lead to the formation of stains. Long term use of mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can also cause staining of teeth.

4) Medicine

Medicine

4) Medicine

Certain drugs have a long history of discolouring teeth in growing children. Tetracycline and doxycycline antibiotics can have an effect on enamel formation for children under the age of 8. Antihistamines (such as Benadryl), antipsychotic medications, and antihypertensive medications can all cause deep stains.

How to amend discolouration on your teeth

1) Brush with proper technique

Brush-with-proper-technique

1) Brush with proper
technique

Brushing properly takes at least two minutes—that is 120 seconds! Most adults do not brush their teeth for that long. Try using a timer for a start to get a sense of how long you are currently spending on teeth brushing. Brush your teeth gently with short, gentle strokes and pay special attention to the gumline, difficult-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fillings, crowns, or other restorations.

2) Change your diet

Change-your-diet

2) Change your diet

You already know that certain teas and sauces can lead to discolouration but essentially, all foods and drinks that come with darker pigments, tannins or high acidic content can lead to extreme stains overtime. It is best to reduce the consumption of these foods and drinks to prevent further staining. Alternatively, you can always brush your teeth after you eat.

3) Talk to your dentist

Talk-to-your-dentist

3) Talk to your dentist

This a sure-fire way to fix any dental-related issues you are struggling with. Your dentist can help you find the best teeth whitening treatment that is suitable for your current condition, especially for older folks with sensitive teeth. They are able to identify if your stains are extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are visible on the surface of your teeth, which requires mechanical efforts to be removed and intrinsic stains are under the enamel, which requires teeth whitening to be removed.

As you can see, there are a number of lifestyle changes and remedies to combat the natural darkening of your teeth that inevitably comes with age. It is also noteworthy that each person’s teeth will respond differently to each treatment, which is why the support of your dentist matters! Speaking of the dentist, if you are due for a dental checkup, book an appointment with us!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Brushing teeth – proper techniques for brushing your teeth. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2021, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-my/oral-health/brushing-and-flossing/how-tobrush

2. Person. (2020, December 11). Foods that Stain Teeth: 9 Tooth-Staining foods and drinks. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from
https://www.healthline.com/health/foods-thatstain-teeth#:~:text=The%20bottom%20line,keep%20your%20teeth%20looking%20good.

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are responsible for several health-threatening conditions, but did you know that it harms one’s oral health too?

According to a Singapore-based study, 7.4% of females (aged 12 to 26) are vulnerable to severe eating disorders such as anorexia (a condition that typically involves self-starvation due to the fear of weight gain) and bulimia (a condition that typically involves binge-eating and purging large amounts of food due to overwhelming stress).

Both conditions are common symptoms of body image issues, which is known as the state of one being unhappy with their physical appearance. This can stem from the increasing pressure conveyed through the media for people, especially females, to match unrealistic beauty standards.

Eating disorders are life-threatening conditions that are harmful to one’s self-esteem, academic performance and social skills. It is commonly associated with severe mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, but did you know that eating disorders can negatively affect one’s dental health too?

The common denominator between all forms of eating disorders is that it deprives people of the nutrients they need to nourish their bodies for day-to-day functions. As such, the lack of nutrition inevitably leads to sensitive gums that are prone to bleeding and frequent vomiting leads to high volumes of stomach acid coming in contact with one’s teeth, which will erode the enamel on the teeth and result in a negative change of size, colour and length of teeth.

4 Dental issues that come from eating disorders

1) Chewing

Chewing

1) Chewing

Degenerative arthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in the jaw is a dental complication that is frequently linked to eating disorders. This joint is located at the point where the lower jaw connects to the skull. When arthritis develops in this joint, it can cause joint pain, severe headaches, and difficulty in chewing.

People with this issue will find it hard to open and close their mouths. Therefore, it is difficult for them to consume nutritious foods of harder textures such as vegetables, fruits and meat. And this may drive them to adopt a softer, restrictive diet that often lacks proper nutrition.

2) Mouth injuries

Mouth-injuries

2) Mouth injuries

Purging can cause swelling, gashes, and cuts inside the mouth, particularly on the upper surface known as the ‘soft palate’. Such injury is a red flag for dentists because normal daily habits rarely cause harm to this area.

Another sign of purging is bruising on one’s knuckles as people tend to bite their skin in an attempt to purge. A regular binge-and-purge cycle can result in salivary gland enlargement. Enlarged glands can be traumatic and are usually visible to others, which attributes to further emotional distress and low-self esteem.

3) Gum diseases

Gum-diseases

3) Gum diseases

Poor diet frequently results in nutritional deficiency. Calcium, iron and B vitamins are all nutrients that promote dental health. Inadequate calcium enhances not just gum diseases but tooth decay too; even if an anorexic person consumes enough calcium, the body requires sufficient vitamin D to absorb it. Inadequate iron can promote the development of mouth sores.

The most common gum issue is gingivitis, which is defined as inflammation of the gums. Signs of gum inflammation include bleeding during tooth-brushing, swollen-looking gums, and red gums.

4) Bad breath, dry mouth and cracked lips

Bad-breath-dry-mouth-and-cracked-lips

4) Bad breath, dry mouth
and cracked lips

Inadequate vitamin B3 (also defined as niacin) levels can contribute to bad breath and the formation of canker sores. As mentioned earlier, gums can become red and swollen, almost glossy-looking, as a result of gum diseases, which can be contributed by severe dehydration. As such, the mouth can become incredibly dry, and the lips can become blistered and cracked.

3 Ways to prevent further damage

1) Seek support from loved ones

Seek-support-from-loved-one

1) Seek support from
loved ones

We are all relational beings that rely on one another for support during trying times. People who are struggling with eating disorders should not let their thoughts fester in isolation, instead, they should receive emotional support from their loved ones.

The journey to recovery from an eating disorder is anything but easy as it is both a physical and mental battle. Those who are on the path of recovery deserve an ample amount of love and encouragement from those who care about them.

2) Seek professional help

Seek-professional-help

2) Seek professional help

As mentioned earlier, eating disorders are usually paired with mental disorders. Thus, it is highly recommended for people who are struggling with an eating disorder to seek professional help from a therapist or psychiatrist.

Mental health professionals may encourage patients to keep a food journal that will be reviewed during each counselling session. The purpose of a food journal is to identify what triggers unhealthy eating behaviours and how they can be rectified with the right tools.

3) Seek a treatment plan from the dentist

3) Seek a treatment plan from
the dentist

Individuals suffering from eating disorders frequently seek professional help from their dentist due to issues found in their mouth and teeth. A dentist or dental hygienist is taught to identify the oral symptoms of a severe eating disorder. They will first educate the patient on the oral and bodily harm that will arise from an eating disorder and craft a treatment plan that will help resolve those oral complications.

The dentist should always assure their patients that their relationship is kept confidential and that their office is a safe space for them to share their struggles and progress towards recovery.

Dentists play a significant role in supporting patients through the ups and downs of an eating disorder as they should always convey compassion, understanding and patience towards their patients who seek dental aid.

As you can see, eating disorders have several significant effects on one’s oral health. However, it is treatable when empathy is present. The common denominator between the three roles listed above that serves as an aid for people who have eating disorders is that each person can provide emotional and mental support.

Your dental health is imperative to your overall health. With that being said, if you are due for a dental checkup, book an appointment with us!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Dental complications of eating disorders. (2018, February 22). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/dental-complications-eatingdisorders

2. McGuire, J., & McGuire, J. (2016, December 30). How eating disorders are damaging to teeth. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/eatingdisorders-damaging-teeth

Snoring can be mistaken as the sound of peaceful sleep. In reality, snoring is a sign of various health issues, including oral health. To find out how snoring can erode the quality of your pearly whites and what you can do to stop it, keep on reading…

Snoring is so common that we might see it as perfectly natural. But experts have found that snoring is linked to many health-threatening conditions such as unhealthy weight gain, high alcohol use, sleep deprivation, heart disease, stress and mental health. The most surprising finding would be that snoring has negative effects on your dental health too.

What causes snoring?

What-causes-snoring

Before we dive into how snoring can be detrimental to your oral health, we must understand the common causes of snoring.

The tissues in the roof of the mouth, tongue, and throat are in a relaxed state while you sleep. The soft tissues can sometimes relax so much that they partially block your airway, especially if you sleep on your back. As air passes through your throat, the soft tissues begin to vibrate, resulting in the sounds of snores. The more your airway narrows, the stronger the airflow and the louder the snores get.

How does snoring negatively affect one’s oral health?

oral-health

How does snoring negatively
affect one’s oral health?

When you snore, you are gasping for air through an open mouth, which leads to a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is no protective layer of saliva to protect your oral tissues.

A dry mouth is more prone to pH imbalances, cavities, gum diseases and bad breath. In the absence of saliva, acids and bacterial plaque quickly accumulate in the mouth. The accumulation of harmful bacteria eventually leads to the deeper layers of the tooth being affected, resulting in severe dental pain.

Here are 5 things you can do to overcome this problem

1) Work towards a healthier weight

Chewing

1) Work towards a
healthier weight

People who are overweight often have an accumulation of fat around the throat that contributes to snoring. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet will reduce this accumulation of fat and reduce the occurrence of snoring.

2) Use nasal strips or external nasal dilators

Mouth-injuries

2) Use nasal strips or external
nasal dilators

Nasal strips or an exterior nasal dilator may be used to overcome the issue of snoring. Many people find that applying adhesive strips to the bridge of the nose helps them to widen their nasal passage, thereby improving airflow. A nasal dilator is a stiffened adhesive strip that is applied externally across the nostrils to help increase airflow and allows you to breathe easily.

3) Learn myofunctional exercises and breathing techniques

Gum-diseases

3) Learn myofunctional
exercises and breathing techniques

The tongue, like any other muscle in the body, can be exercised to increase its muscle tone. By strengthening certain muscles of the tongue, you can adopt a better resting tongue posture. This prevents the tongue from losing its muscle tone and obstructing the airway during sleep.

Learning to breathe better during the day with breathing exercises will help to reduce the amount of air you take in during each breath and reduces your breathing rate. Both measures will reduce the occurrence of snoring during sleep.

4) Limit the consumption of alcohol and sedatives

Bad-breath-dry-mouth-and-cracked-lips

4) Limit the consumption of
alcohol and sedatives

Alcohol and sedatives should be consumed in moderation or they should be completely off the table for you. It is also best to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages at least two hours before going to bed. If you must take sedatives for health-related reasons, do notify your doctor that you snore in your sleep so that he or she may find an alternative for you. Sedatives and alcohol keep your central nervous system compressed, which triggers muscles, including those in your throat to relax, which as mentioned earlier, is a big contributor to snoring.

5) Frequent visits to the dentist

Seek-support-from-loved-one

5) Frequent visits to
the dentist

People who suffer from snoring must ensure regular dental checkups. Learn more about correction of snoring from a dentist who is trained in Myofunctional Therapy. With regular dental care from your dentist, any cavities or gum disease found can be effectively treated because of early intervention.

To get quality sleep, put these five tips into action to ensure that your smile will remain bright for all the days to come! As always, if you are due for a dental checkup, book an appointment with us!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Brushing your teeth: Does timing matter? (2019, June 05). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193#:~:text=Answer%20From%20Thomas%20J.,your%20teeth%20and%20contains%20bacteria.

2. Melinda. (n.d.). How to stop snoring. Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/snoring-tips-to-help-you-and-your-partner-sleep-better.htm

3. What causes snoring: Its effect on oral health. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2021, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/respiratory-conditions/what-causes-snoring-its-effect-on-oral-health