Make the Most of 2015!

The end of year is fast approaching.

Claim your health fund rebate before you lose it!

Most private health fund policies renew with each calendar year, meaning that you will lose your entitled amount as rebates do not accumulate over time.

If you have any urgent treatment necessary or even if you have just forgotten to check in with us for your preventive maintenance, come see us before the end of the year and we can help you maximise your rebate.

At Canada Bay Dental, we service Breakfast and the surrounding areas of Inner West Sydney (Concord, Mortlake, Cabarita, Ryde, Five Dock, Burwood, Rhodes, Abbotsford and Strathfield). We also gladly accept all health funds including BUPA, Medibank, NIB, AHM, Frank, Australian Unity, HCF, CBHS and more!

It also is the perfect time to get that whitening done just in time for all of those Christmas and New Years photos! At Canada Bay Dental, we use the latest Philips ZOOM whitening technology and are the Sydney Inner West's leading cosmetic dentists. 

At the moment, Philips ZOOM is only $545 and this includes your take home whitening kit. Often your health fund can cover a portion of this cosmetic treatment!

Book online 24 hours a day 7 days a week by clicking on the BOOK ONLINE tab at the top of the page or alternatively you can call 02 9743 5744.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!


What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Knowing possible causes of yellowing teeth can help you avoid it and give you a better understanding of oral health

Are you self conscious about your yellowing teeth? Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do to make them whiter and brighter?

There are several ways to whiten your teeth but the most important thing is to understand what causes discoloured teeth and try to eliminate these things so that the results of teeth whitening last as long as possible.


Our favorite dentist in Sydney has shared his insight on how you can avoid it in the future.

Plaque build-up

Plaque, a sticky substance made of bacteria in the mouth can cause yellow teeth. When you brush, the hard-to-reach areas are often left out and this is where bacteria thrive. If you do not brush effectively, plaque will eventually accumulate and harden into tartar, which will then cause yellow teeth.

Particular food and drinks

Apples, potatoes, coffee, tea, and sodas can stain teeth. These are acidic and can erode tooth enamel, which can therefore harm the teeth and expose the dentin, a layer that is yellow in color.

Smoking or chewing tobacco

Not only smoking is bad for your health, it can also be bad for your oral health. Chemicals like nicotine and tar found in tobacco can turn teeth yellow and in the long run even leave brown stains.

Excessive fluoride

We have all heard that fluoride is good for the teeth; making it stronger and preventing tooth decay. But too much fluoride can be bad for your teeth and lead to dental fluorosis or the discoloration of the tooth enamel. The recommended amount of fluoride in toothpaste is 1500ppm, or roughly the size of a pea and less than 2mg/liter in water.


As we age, our bodies change and our teeth is no exception. The enamel, the outermost layer of teeth, get worn out and expose the following layer called the dentin, which is yellow in color.

Certain medications

Children below 8 years old are susceptible to having yellow or stained teeth if they are given antibiotics with tetracycline and doxycycline, which treat bacterial infections. Pregnant women who take these medications will also cause their child to develop yellow stained teeth. Mouth wash, antihistamines, and anti-hypertensive drugs can also stain teeth.

5 Facts About Our Teeth

Mums are usually the first person in the world to tell that to keep our teeth clean we need to brush at least twice a day, floss once a day and visit the dentist every six months.

But dentists are the best person to give you guidance on how you can maintain good oral health.

Here at Canada Bay Dental, a company of dentists in Sydney, we are bombarded by a lot of questions about oral hygiene and teeth from when is the best time for a child’s first dental checkup to teeth whitening. And so we’ve rounded up the top 5 facts that you may not know about teeth – and some things you could be doing that can damage them.

1. Dry mouth and tongue can cause tooth decay.

Our mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime – that is enough to fill two swimming pools!

Saliva not only aids in chewing, swallowing and digesting food, they also help protect your teeth from bacteria resulting to gingivitis and dental caries. Saliva neutralizes the acid included in the food that you eat, helping the enamel absorb less acid.

The best way to avoid a dry mouth is to keep yourself hydrated. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.

2. About 35% of the human population are born without wisdom teeth. If you are a part of that statistic, we are envious of you.

3. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it can break easily.

We are all, at some point, guilty of using our teeth to remove price tags, open sachets of ketchup and even opening a soda or a beer bottle cap. These habits including eating popcorn kernels and playing with tube ice, or having mouth piercing can also damage teeth structure. Remember, once we have our permanent choppers they are unlikely to be replaced… not unless you want to rush to an emergency dentist.

4. Fluoride is good for your teeth… and bad for your teeth.

Fluoride is a common ingredient found in all toothpaste. It is important for healthy teeth, but excessive amounts of it when ingested, usually by kids during their teeth-growing years, it can lead to a condition known as fluorosis, which starts out causing white spots (or brown). Such tooth stains cannot simply polish off. And, excessive fluoride also causes teeth to become porous.

5. No two people have the same set of teeth — your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint. And if you happen to watch crime shows like CSI you would know.

The Crazy Truth of How Food Affects Your Teeth

As crazy as it sounds, certain types of food and drink can be harmful to your teeth and you should be aware of that fact before it is too late. However, what you consume can help to maintain a good oral hygiene and keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

When you eat or drink, sugars and carbohydrates are transformed into acids which attack the enamel on your teeth. That’s when the enamel softens, it gets thinner and the cavities begin to form.

According to Sydney Dentist Dr Stephen Blatchford, tooth erosion is another dental problem that seems to be a growing issue amongst Australians and should be taken very seriously. Although this condition is irreversible, it is important to consult as soon as the warning signs appear to keep the situation from worsening.

What to drink

Water is the most beneficial liquid for the health of your teeth. It contains fluoride which contributes to washing away food debris that often get trapped in the teeth. Furthermore, water helps to keep your saliva at a high level because it contains proteins and minerals. The latter two counteract acids and enzymes from eating the enamel, thereby preventing tooth decay.

If you are not too crazy about water, a good alternative is unsweetened tea. Researchers have discovered that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can reduce the risk of cavities. Aside from containing powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, some studies say that black tea can help fight Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, two sorts of bacteria involved in tooth decay and gum disease. Green tea has similar properties and is also known to neutralize sulphur compounds which are responsible for halitosis (commonly called bad breath).

Another good example is milk. Containing high concentration of calcium, vitamin D and phosphates, milk will strengthen your teeth and will protect them from tooth decay as well as gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Drinking 1% low-fat or skim (nonfat) milk should be preferred to 2% or whole milk. You will gain the maximum of its nutrients without the fat that will clog your arteries.

What not to drink


Image source

Coffee is known to stain your teeth, but it is also very damaging for them especially if you add sugar or whole milk. Also, drinking large amount of coffee can attack the enamel and therefore, produce dental decay. Many years ago, the Australian Dental Association has issued a warning stating that caffeine inhibits saliva production. This can generate dry mouth which can lead to cavities. According to the market research organisation Roy Morgan Research, it seems that Australians are drinking less coffee than before.

Other beverages that could be truly bad for your oral health are carbonated soft drinks. They contain sugar and acidic ingredients which can cause tooth erosion as well as dental decay. Furthermore, soft drinks that contain caffeine have the same properties than coffee itself. Alcohol beverages, citrus and fruit juices are also drinks that can be hard on your dental health. When drinking fruit juice or soft drinks, using a straw could be a good way to avoid contact with your teeth.

What to eat

Cheeses, chicken or other meats and nuts are the best types of food for your dental health. The calcium and phosphates contained in these foods are known to help protect your teeth by remineralizing them. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber help stimulate saliva production which activates minerals restoration. They also work like oral detergent by “scrubbing” the teeth. Watery fruits and vegetables, like apple, celery and watermelon, have the property of diluting their own sugars. Another way to increase saliva flow is to chew sugarless gum after each meal and it will also help dislodge food debris.

What not to eat

Candies and sweets, especially those that take the longest to dissolve, are extremely bad for your oral health. Fortunately for chocolate lovers, our favorite sweet is coated in fat so it is easily and quickly swallowed. Starchy foods like bread, pasta, potato chips, crackers and popcorn can cause real damage to the enamel because they often get stuck on and between the teeth. As they linger in the mouth, they break down into sugars which will cause oral bacteria to thrive on them and transform them into enamel-eating acids. Honey and dried fruits, because of their high concentration in sugar, can be very harmful for your teeth and also cause tooth decay.

In order to better grasp this information, here is an infographic, created by Smile Artistry, which serves as an excellent visual recap of the good and the bad sorts of food and drink. Moreover, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) provides several useful tips to help you take care of your teeth. So go ahead, drink and eat healthy!

What Happens Before and After Getting Braces

Have you ever thought about getting braces? Maybe your teeth have always been crooked and you want a more beautiful smile? Or maybe you have a misalignment of your jaw called an overbite that causes your upper jaw to stick out farther than your lower jaw. Whatever reason you are considering getting braces, you will be happy to know you’re in good company, even if you’re an adult.

At one time, braces were mainly worn by teenagers who felt self-conscious about their crooked teeth. Braces are not just for teens anymore as adults are also getting braces these days. In fact, twenty percent of people who wear braces are adults. If you are trying to decide whether or not to get braces, it might be helpful to know and understand the process.Â

Before Getting Braces

Getting braces is a big step. It’s also more important than about looking good. Getting braces can be positive for oral health as well. Before you get them put on, here are some things you will want to keep in mind:Â

  • Consult with a dentist or orthodontist first to see how getting braces could benefit you
  • On average, adults can expect to wear braces between 12 and 20 months
  • Stay with the same dentist or orthodontist for the duration of your treatment
  • Alert your dentist if you are allergic to nickel, latex and other elements used for braces
  • Talk to your dentist about non-metal options or clear braces such as Invisalign


Image Source via Flickr @ Sherman Geronimo-Tan

Wearing Braces

Wearing braces means you are going to have to pay more attention to your teeth than ever. Since eating causes food to be stuck in the brackets leading to bad breath and tooth decay, you will want to make sure to brush your teeth after every meal. If you are in a situation where you can’t get away to brush your teeth, at least swish some water around inside your mouth to loosen up stuck food particles.Â

Another thing you will have to do daily is floss your teeth. A lot of people don’t make this a daily practice but it is especially important if you are wearing braces. By using a special floss threader, you will still be able to floss your teethwhile wearing braces.

There are certain foods you will have to avoid eating while having braces. Many foods get stuck in the brackets and can even cause damage to the wires. While it may be hard to avoid some of these foods, especially if you love eating popcorn during a movie, it is best to abstain from them while you are wearing your braces.

Food to avoid include:Â

  • popcorn
  • nuts
  • gum
  • ice
  • sticky candy

Getting Braces Tightened

Wearing braces isn’t always fun, in fact sometimes it can be downright painful. This is especially true when you need to get your braces tightened. This usually occurs every four to six weeks. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to alleviate the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever before and after your appointment. You can also eat or drink cold foods like fruit smoothies or ice cream to help numb the pain.Â

After BracesÂ

Getting your braces off will be a time to celebrate. You have a new smile and along with it you will feel more confident than ever. It’s a wonderful feeling but there are still a few things you will have to do after your braces finally come off. You will have to wear a retainer. Thankfully, most retainers can be worn at night only. You might be able to get a permanent retainer that is hidden behind your top and bottom teeth.Â

If you don’t wear some sort of retainer, your teeth will start moving back to the way they were. After all your pain and suffering, you certainly don’t want to go back to having crooked teeth.

True Stories

People who get braces usually never regret it. Jennifer got braces at the age of 29. She says it was worth the “slight discomfort” of getting braces. Kayla hated having braces but in the end said her two-year journey with braces was all worth it.Â

If you still aren’t convinced braces are right for you or you, take a look at these photos.

Braces before and after photos


Image Source via Flickr @ Kim


Image Source via Wikimedia@ Jeffrey Dorfma

It’s Worth Getting Braces

Even though there is discomfort involved and you have to make a few lifestyle adjustments, in the end getting braces is always worth it. With straight teeth and a beautiful smile, you will be more self-confident than ever and ready to conquer the world!

So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to see how we can get you started on wearing braces.

Can You Avoid Braces?

No one in the history of the planet has ever uttered the words, “I really want braces.”

OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it underscores the point: Braces are no fun.

But they’re also a rite of passage for millions of teens and adults. Like it or not, odds are good that at least someone in your family will need braces.

Is this avoidable? Yes and no.


How Do Braces Help?

A type of orthodontic treatment, braces help fix crowded, crooked, protruding or misaligned teeth. If left untreated, though, you’re opening yourself up to a myriad of oral health problems, like tooth decay, gum disease and even loss of teeth, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. The reason? Cleaning crooked or crowded teeth can be very difficult.

Furthermore, misaligned teeth can even make it difficult to bite or speak, and it can create jaw problems, plus they can wear out the enamel. Braces, though, will keep your teeth and gums healthy – and your teeth straight.



Are there Alternatives to Orthodontics?

Dental plan provider Smile says cosmetic contouring can help improve the appearance of teeth, particularly if you have slightly crowded teeth. The procedure takes about an hour and is more cost-effective than other types of cosmetic treatment, although it’s not recommended for children.

Even the Australian Society of Orthodontists admits there are options for braces, like clear plastic plates, or sequential clear aligners, for “straightforward cases.” Extreme or severe cases, though, are not ideal for alternatives.

One consideration: invisible braces, or aesthetic braces. These braces are made of a transparent ceramic, hence the name “invisible,” but they’re still placed on the outside of the teeth, just like traditional braces.

Another potential way to ward off trouble: Be proactive about it. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking your child to an orthodontist and visiting regularly starting around the age of 7 or 8 can help in the long-run,explains Mommy DDS. Pediatric dentists and orthodontists look at teeth and jaws differently, but a specialist can help monitor the growth and development of the structures. For example, an orthodontist may recommend removing baby teeth early so that the permanent teeth entering the arches come in in a more optimal position, MommyDDS explains.

Give Canada Bay Dental’s Six Month Smiles a Try

If you need braces, you can virtually count on wearing them for 18 months to three years. That’s a long time.

However, Canada Bay Dental offers an affordable alternative to conventional braces through its Six Months Smiles treatment, something few dentists offer. The new, innovative cosmetic braces system uses proven orthodontic techniques and modern materials to gently straight and align your teeth. Canada Bay Dental guarantees you’ll have straight teeth within six months.

And it’s affordable, costing about 50 percent less than conventional braces. If you have questions about the Six Months Smile treatment or any other questions, call us today to set up an appointment.

What is TMJ and How Is It Treated?

One day, you feel fine. The next? You’re struck by debilitating pain in your jaw – so much that you can’t eat, move your jaw or even talk.

Welcome to TMJ.


It’s estimated that one in four people suffer from one or more symptoms of Temporo Mandibular Disorders, or TMD. TMD can be caused by problems with the jaw, the jaw joint and all the surrounding facial muscles that move the jaw and control chewing. Many health practitioners call the disorder TMJ. More specifically, TMJ is the temporo mandibular joint, which is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of your skull.

And the pain and problems associated with TMJ can be excruciating. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the jaw joint or muscles that help you chew; the pain makes it difficult to eat, especially hard food
  • General pain in the jaw, face or neck, including stiff jaw muscles
  • Painful clicking or popping in the jaw joint or a grating sensation when chewing
  • An uneven bite
  • Chronic headaches, neck aches and facial pain
  • Ear symptoms, which can include ringing/buzzing, pain and a loss of hearing.
  • Pain can also radiate to the neck and shoulders.

Women are impacted by TMJ more than men, according to myDr.

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ causes are still up for debate, although they are widely believed to be caused by problems with the joint and stress on the surrounding structures, myDr says. Joint problems can range from arthritis to dislocation of the joint to injuries. Even poor posture can strain your muscles in your jaw, face and neck.

Teeth grinding is thought to be a possible cause of TMJ, which often occurs when people sleep. However, not everyone who grinds their teeth has TMJ. Likewise, not everyone with TMJ grinds their teeth.

Ever been in a car crash and had the air bag deploy, only to experience jaw pain afterward? That’s one of the more common types of trauma that causes TMD, according to TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre. Whiplash, opening your jaw too widely, systemic diseases and even stress are other common forms of trauma.




How is TMJ Treated?

The good news is, two-thirds of those diagnosed with TMJ report symptoms improving with several relatively simple treatments and lifestyle changes. Avoiding things like hard and chewy foods, gum, opening your mouth too wide, yawning and even speaking help improve the discomfort. Even maintaining better posture is said to help. Patients who grind their teeth are encouraged to wear mouthguards at night. Day splints can be worn during the day on a short-term basis to help relax the jaw muscles.

Muscle relaxants, pain relievers and hot and cold packs can also temporarily relieve the pain.

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, call Canada Bay Dental today to schedule your next visit.

How Much Money Should the Tooth Fairy Leave?

What is the going rate for a tooth these days?

That’s a good question.


One recent study showed that tooth fairy payoff rates have been steadily doubling each decade since the 1980’s. As of last year, that put the Australian national average at about $2.00, with parents sometimes paying as much as $5 or more for the first tooth to come out.Another 2013 study put the American average at a whopping $3.50! That’s nearly $3.75 in Australian currency! Clearly there is some money to be made for these children. We talked to a few enterprising youngsters who seemed to be getting a good handle on how to make this Tooth Fairy thing work in their favor.

Eight-year-old Lucas (*all names have been changed to protect the privacy of minors) told us that his rates have been increasing steadily in the three years since he lost his first incisor.

“The first one that came out was scary. It was bleeding a lot and my mom was crying. I think she was crying because I was crying. I was just so happy I got my first tooth out, I didn’t even care that it was hurting. All I could think about was that the Tooth Fairy was coming to see me, and I needed to make sure I didn’t lose my tooth before I could get it under my pillow.”

Lucas told us that he received one dollar for that first tooth. A few months later, he got $2 for the next baby teeth that came out. Last year, he earned a full $10 for losing four teeth in the space of one week. This year, he’s campaigned for $3 each.

“I tell my parents that’s what all the other kids are getting. They don’t want me to feel bad, so they pay.”

Ten-year-old Olivia has made a cottage industry out of her Tooth Fairy experience. “They tried that $1 business with me, but I wasn’t having it. I got $5 on the first one, as a kind of bonus, but once that door was open, I didn’t let them close it.”

Now Olivia earns extra cash counseling other kids in her class on the best way to get more money per tooth. “I tell them, do the math. You’ve got 20 teeth to lose. At $5 a pop, that’s $100. You can’t afford not to grab that cash if you can. The trick is, you have to cry extra hard when the tooth is coming out. The parents feel so bad, they make sure there’s more money under the pillow to make up for it.” Olivia earns $1 commission every time one of her classmates brings in more than $4 a tooth.

We asked Olivia, how close does she think her parents are with the Tooth Fairy. She replied, “They’re like this,” and she crossed her fingers one on top of the other.

Noah, a scrappy little 7-year-old, told us that his mother makes sure the Tooth Fairy pays him an extra two dollars if he pulls the tooth out himself. “I don’t mind. I kind of like doing it. It makes me feel invincible. And my mum is so grateful she doesn’t have to do it herself. I think I could probably get more money, but I don’t want to push my luck. I just ask for extra ice cream instead.”

While most kids wait until the tooth falls out on its own, some do ask an adult to pull it out for them. Of course, there are those adventurous few who just can’t wait, and yank the tooth out themselves, regardless if they’re being paid extra money. These hearty souls seem to do it for the sheer pleasure.

All financial considerations aside, it’s best to let your child’s primary teeth come out naturally, when they are ready to fall out. If it is partially out or uncomfortably loose, it should not be pulled until it is loose enough to come out easily. If the tooth is pulled out prematurely, it can cause unnecessary injury to the surrounding gum. Afterwards, it’s important to make sure to rinse the area with water and keep it clean, as the wound is healing. If necessary, pack the area with sterile gauze until it stops bleeding.

And always, if you experience any problems such as incessant bleeding or extreme pain, please contact your dentist right away.

Pros and Cons of At-Home Tooth Whiteners

So you need a Diet Coke every morning on your way to work. You’ve got a small candy jar at your desk. Once you’re home, you close your day with a glass of wine.

And God help us all if you don’t have your coffee.

All these habits are killing that pearly white smile of yours.


It’s also why at-home tooth whiteners are so popular. Canada Bay Dental offers several tooth whitening solutions, including the Zoom Teeth Whitening system, considered one of the best and most effective products on the market. Your smile will be noticeably different within an hour of your first appointment.

But at-home products are wildly popular, too. People love them for their convenience, plus you have some control over how great your smile looks afterward.

That’s both a blessing and a curse.

While at-home tooth whiteners are relatively safe, they can present problems, too.


  • The price is right: People love the at-home products because of their affordability. These products are also easy to use and typically very effective.
  • No set schedule: You don’t have to comply with a set schedule, although for best results, users are encouraged to commit to a regimented daily routine. This gives you the chance to whiten your teeth over several months or several weeks.
  • Fast results: It shouldn’t take you long before you start seeing results, with most people reporting improvement within the first week.


  • No set schedule: This is also a con. The reason? Your colour change is largely dependent upon wearing the whitening trays, so if you don’t follow a regimented routine, you might not get the results you were hoping for.
  • Bad taste: Those trays have been known to cause some people to get sick to their stomach.
  • Too much is just too much: You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to whiteners. Excessive use can make your teeth look translucent.
  • Tooth sensitivity: Some people who use at-home tooth whiteners report experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold during the bleaching.
  • Faster at the dentist: Your Canada Bay Dental dentist uses a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide and a special laser that activates the treatment. That’s why it typically takes less time to get your teeth whitened at the dentist’s office as opposed to using an at-home product.

Why Do You Need Whitener?

As Colgate says, the natural colour of your teeth is determined by the colour of the dentin under your enamel and the reflection and scattering of light off the enamel. So, how thick and smooth is your enamel? That depends on your genes, Colgate explains.

Every day, though, your enamel – or, more specifically, the things you ingest – work against your pearly whites. A thin coating called pellicle picks up stains on your enamel. Your enamel, Colgate says, also has pores that can pick up stains.

Dark coloured liquids are your worst enemy when it comes to keeping your teeth white. But tobacco, aging and proper dental hygiene also plays a part in it.

Every day, a thin coating (pellicle) forms on the enamel and picks up stains. Tooth enamel also contains pores that can hold stains. You can also develop stains inside your teeth, but whiteners are best on surface stains.

And, contrary to popular belief, tooth whiteners will not wear out your enamel.

The Final Prognosis

While a dentist can help you monitor your progress and steer you toward the best at-home products, you can’t go wrong by getting the procedure done at the dentist. It’s quick, easy, highly effective and generally takes less time to see results. Call Canada Bay Dental today to schedule your tooth whitening appointment.

My Tooth is Sensitive after a Crown. Now What?

See if this sounds familiar. You’re enjoying a meal with the family, and you soon find out that mum’s lamb leg roast isn’t boneless. Sure enough, you hear that unnatural crunch sound, followed by searing tooth pain. 

You’ve chipped a tooth and need a crown.

Canada Bay Dental can take care of that tooth crown, or “cap.” It typically takes two visits: one to prepare and make a temporary crown, then another visit to place the permanent crown. Assuming there’s no underlying problems – like severe tooth decay, which may require a root canal – the procedures are relatively painless and simple.

Days later, though, that pesky tooth is still sensitive, making it hard to chew and eat. Should you be concerned? Yes and no.

Pain associated with a crown isn’t uncommon, but it’s not something you should ignore, either. To understand why you’re experiencing pain, and what to do about it, you first need a tooth crown primer.

Do I Need a Tooth Cap?

A crown is a cap that covers a tooth to help restore its shape, strength and appearance. For example, your dentist may recommend a crown to cover a tooth that has had a root canal.  Once in place, a crown will completely cover the visible portion of a tooth at and above the gum line.

Dental insurance site Smile pinpoints six reasons why you may need a crown, including:

  1. Restore a broken tooth or tooth that has been severely worn down.
  2. Protect a weak tooth or ensure a cracked tooth holds together.
  3. Keep a dental bridge in place.
  4. Cover a large filling when there’s not much left of a tooth.
  5. Cover a dental implant.
  6. Cover miscoloured or misshaped tooth

What Happens Next?

Taking care of a crown typically takes two visits. You’ll get a temporary crown on your first visit. Although a temporary can last up to a year, you’ll likely wear it until the permanent crown is ready.

Your dentist may need to build a foundation for your crown, especially if large areas are damaged, missing or decayed, according to Colgate. Before the crown is placed, your dentist may need to make room for it by filing down the tooth in question. The dentist then makes an impression of the tooth and of the teeth above and below it to make sure the crown fits with your normal bite.

Now, it’s time for the impression to be sent to a lab, where it’s made. This is when you’ll receive a temporary crown. You’ll keep the temporary one until the permanent crown is ready. From there, the permanent crown will be cemented to your tooth. Permanent types of crowns include metal, porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.  But “permanent” is somewhat misleading. Colgate says most crowns last around seven years but can last up to 40 years.

My Tooth is Still Sensitive! (And What to Do About It)

Most of the time, your worries are over after your crown has been placed. Some patients, though, still experience pain or sensitivity afterward.

This could be caused by several factors, including:

  • Have you had a root canal? If the answer is no, your tooth still contains the nerve. This, in turn, may cause sensitivity to cold, but this should be temporary.
  • Does it hurt to bite down? If the answer is yes, then your crown is likely too high. Contact your Canada Bay dentist so that your crown can be adjusted, an easy procedure.
  • Problems with the crown? A crown, particularly an all-porcelain one, can chip, the cement can wash out from under it and, in some cases, the crown can fall out. These are all easily fixable problems that can be taken care of with a trip to the dentist.

Of course, you also might experience a little sensitivity to hot or cold after the anaesthesia has worn off. You can buy a special toothpaste for this that’s made for sensitive teeth.

Time to See a Dentist

From start to finish, it typically takes around two to three weeks to take care of a crown. Contact Canada Bay Dental as soon as possible if you run into troubles, and, above all, check for bones next time before you bite into mum’s lamb roast.

Preparing Your Kids for their First Visit to the Dentist

It’s important that good dental care begins early in a child’s life. According to the Australian Dental Association, your child’s first visit to the dentist should take place by the age of 12 months, or shortly after the appearance of the first baby teeth. Let’s have a look at how to prepare for this first visit to the dentist. 

One year of age – this is younger than a lot of people think! Many parents don’t take their children to the dentist until well after the age of two or three, but by then many bad dental care habits might already be in place. It’s important to start your child at this very early age for a couple of reasons.

First of all, your dentist will be able to detect any preexisting problems early enough to treat them before they become too serious. Secondly, it’s essential to help you and your child create the foundation for good preventive care early on, so that it becomes a natural part of everyday life. Starting these habits when your children are super young will ensure that they develop proper oral care habits for their whole lives. It’s actually a great bit of parenting and childcare that will go a long way towards ensuring your child’s overall health.

Thirdly, it’s important that you help your children to create a positive relationship with the dentist early on in their lives. This will help them from developing any negative or fearful associations with one of their primary healthcare practitioners. Again, this simple act when your child is young will create a positive foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

What to Expect at the First Visit

Your dentist will inspect your child’s mouth and jaw for any signs of malalignment, examine whatever teeth have already grown in to make sure they are in good health, and instruct you on the basics of good oral care for your child. This will include information regarding fluoride, a healthy diet, how to brush their teeth, and general oral care information. If there are any signs of early tooth decay, your dentist will be able to spot that and advise you accordingly.

Preparing for your First Visit

It’s a good idea to get your child used to the idea of someone looking inside his or her mouth. The two of you can pretend to be dentists, taking turns to count each other’s teeth and say how healthy they look. You can read your child stories about going to the dentist or look at nice pictures.

Make an appointment when your child has had plenty of rest. If your child is already tired and cranky before you even arrive at the office, that’s just one more obstacle to a pleasant experience. Make sure you inform your dentist of any medical or psychological condition your child may have, so that he or she can be prepared. Prepare a list of questions and concerns you may have beforehand, so that you can have a thorough conversation that touches all the necessary bases.

What NOT to Do Before the First Visit

Don’t convey any fear or anxiety about the visit to your child. Don’t use phrases like, “This isn’t going to hurt,” or “There won’t be an injection.” In fact, don’t say anything at all about needles, fear, pain, drill or anything like that. You may have your own fears, but keep in mind that unless you teach your child to be afraid, he or she will not be fearful.

This is a great opportunity to let your child start out with a clean slate. Besides, this first visit is only an examination, so none of those scary things are going to happen, anyway. If your child cries a little during the visit, that’s alright, too. Very young kids often react that way the first time, but they will eventually be won over by your dentist, especially if you are vigilant about your own language and keeping a lid on your own fears.

And of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s first dental visit, feel free to give us a call!

Complementary Healthcare Modalities – Acupuncture

Acupuncture, along with Chinese herbal medicine, is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), one of the oldest healing systems in the world. Acupuncture has been utilized in China for several thousands of years, and began to be used widely in other countries of the world during the 1970’s. Let’s have a look at some of the basics of how acupuncture works, and how it may help support good oral health and overall health. 

In Australia, over 2200 practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are regulated through theAustralian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA). In July of 2012, the Chinese Medicine profession joined the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions. This is the same regulatory body that oversees medical practitioners, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, nurses and midwives etc. In order to legally practice their profession, Chinese medicine practitioners, including acupuncturists, must now be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA).

How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to the principles of TCM, all health is determined by the free flowing circulation of energy through the body. This energy is known as Qi (pronounced, chee). It is the life force that nourishes all of the body’s internal organs, bones and muscles. Over the centuries, the Chinese noted that this Qi flows throughout the body in predictable pathways, known as meridians. They have been able to make a map of these meridians throughout the body, and have assigned correlations between different meridians and specific organs as well as emotional patterns.

When the flow of Qi is interrupted in any way, either due to stress, trauma or some sort of invasion to the body, the result is a disharmony that causes pain or other type of emotional or physical dysfunction. The art and science of acupuncture is in locating the points of blockage, then stimulating those points to get the energy flowing properly once again.

How Does an Acupuncturist Treat a Patient?

When a patient presents for treatment, the acupuncturist will start by taking an extensive medical history as well as a survey of current issues and complaints. The physical exam includes a procedure known as palpating, where the practitioner will apply gentle pressure to various points along the meridians known as “acupoints.” Typically, if there is an energy blockage involving that particular acupoint, the patient will register a sensitivity or even mild pain when the acupuncturist presses down. This is a signal that a blockage exists at that spot. The acupuncturist will then insert a needle at that location in order to stimulate the flow of energy once again.

The needles used in acupuncture are actually only about as thick as cat’s whiskers. Since they do not have anything injected through them, they are very thin, solid and flexible. Usually, the patient only feels a mild pricking sensation that does not last. It is a relatively painless procedure for most people. The typical treatment may entail anywhere from 10-20 needles. Hands and feet are popular sites for treatment, as are the arms, legs and ears.

What Conditions Are Treated by Acupuncture?

The most popular ailments that respond to acupuncture treatment involve pain. Painful injuries as well as chronic pain can all be treated successfully. Other types of conditions that often see relief from acupuncture are the type of difficult to diagnose syndromes involving the immune system or the reproductive system – PMS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, even arthritis. Acupuncture has been useful in providing fertility support, as well as treatment for menopausal symptoms. Indeed, acupuncture can be very helpful in all matters of menstrual regulation.

Other conditions that have seen good documented results include Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and compromised immune systems due to AIDS, diabetes or other illnesses. Withdrawal symptoms due to drug cessation, including smoking cessation, can be greatly reduced with acupuncture. In fact, many detox clinics use acupuncture during the early phases of treatment to help patients get over the initial difficulties of withdrawing from addictive substances.

Acupuncture’s Relevance to Good Oral Health and General Health

As a tool in overall health maintenance, acupuncture along with its sister TCM component, Chinese herbal medicine, can be very useful in maintaining optimum good overall health. As we have seen in our examination of the relationship to general health and the health of teeth and gums, a strong immune system as well as good nutrition are both important foundations to oral health. Acupuncture is a great medical system to boost overall physical functionality. It also does not differentiate between the physical and emotional realms, seeing both as a function of energetics. Therefore, people who find themselves at a difficult nexus between emotional hardship and physical impairment may also find relief and comfort in their acupuncture treatments. There is also the fact that acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins by the brain into the body, and that just makes everyone feel good.

The Best Cool Tricks Your Dentist Uses

Dentistry is one of the coolest things around. Seriously. Dentists are on the cutting edge of technology. We pride ourselves on making what could otherwise be a very unpleasant experience into something easy, painless, and perhaps even fun. Yes, we can do that. Because we use a lot of really cool tricks.


The Lead Apron

This deceptively simple device will save your insides from the harmful effects of x-rays. It’s especially helpful for pregnant women, as it will also protect the little one growing inside you. Dentists aren’t the only ones who use this type of thing, but we think it’s particularly thoughtful, since really we’re mostly concerned with your body from the neck up. Nice to know we’re thinking about you as a whole person.

Carbon Paper

After you get a cavity filled, it’s important to make sure that the filling isn’t built up so high that it interferes with your regular bite. After filling a cavity, your dentist may ask you to bite down on a little piece of carbon paper using the newly filled tooth. If the filling is too high, it will leave carbon mark on the opposing tooth. Your dentist can then gently shave down the filling on that spot until it no longer leaves a mark on the tooth it faces. The idea is to make sure that all of the top teeth hit the bottom teeth with equal pressure, throughout your mouth. The carbon paper is a neat little tool that helps your dentist to make that happen.

The Water Sucking Hose

When drilling your teeth, the drill sprays a lot of water into your mouth. So your dentist’s assistant is usually standing by with a really neat hose that hooks over your lower lip and sucks out all the extra water. This prevents your mouth from filling up and maybe even choking you with all of the excess fluid. It’s a simple concept, but it’s absolutely essential to a safe dental experience.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as “Laughing Gas,” “Sweet Air,” or “Mr. Happy Air,” nitrous oxide is a great way to relax even the most nervous patient. It is mixed with oxygen and administered through tubes attached to a rubber mask that fits over the mouth and nose of the patient. You breathe it in until you feel kind of floaty and sideways. And honestly, if the drilling hurts a little, you probably don’t care. Once the mask is removed, the effects wear off in minutes. Pretty cool, huh?

Local Anesthetic

For larger cavities, or for the patient who really can’t stand the thought of even the smallest amount of pain, there is the option to have a portion of your mouth completely numbed. Your dentist can inject a local anesthetic that will completely numb the affected tooth and the surrounding area. There’s even a topical anesthetic that will temporarily numb the spot on your gum where the syringe is to be inserted. It may take an hour or longer for the local numbness to wear off, however, so you have to be careful until full feeling returns to the affected portion of your mouth.

The Rotary Tooth Polisher

When you go to get your teeth cleaned, your dentist or hygienist will use a rotary tooth polisher that shines up the surface of your teeth better than anything you can use at home. It will leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh – and it doesn’t hurt a bit. It’s a special treat you can look forward to during your twice yearly cleanings. Just another one of the cool tricks your dentist uses to take good care of your teeth and gums.

World Cuisine – the Best Italian Food for Dental Health

One of the world’s healthiest cuisines is Italian food. The hallmarks of Italian cooking are fresh, seasonal ingredients including plenty of vegetables, leafy greens and whole grains, with simply prepared meats and fish. In recent years we’ve been hearing more about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and Italian food is one of the purest expressions of this wonderful cuisine. Let’s have a look at some of the ways Italian food can specifically support good dental health. 

With any cuisine, there may be aspects about it that work better for your teeth than others. For example, Italian cooking features a lot of fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are undoubtedly healthy for you. They contain high concentrations of vitamins and the anti-oxidant lycopene, known to help lower the risk of various cancers and cardiovascular disease. However, tomatoes are also very acidic, and can therefore pose a danger to the enamel of teeth.

One way to mitigate the effects of tomatoes on tooth enamel is to neutralize their acidity with some kind of dairy, such as cheese. Fortunately, tomato sauce and cheese is certainly a common combination found in Southern Italian dishes like lasagna and manicotti. Ricotta, goat cheese, freshly grated parmesan cheese – these are all wonderful, healthy ingredients that serve the dual purpose of neutralizing the acidity of tomato sauce while providing much needed calcium for strong, healthy teeth.

And On the Subject of Calcium…

Although dairy products are an obvious source of calcium, here’s another – anchovies. Not only do they contain calcium and iron, but they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to reducing cancer and stroke risk as well as enhancing one’s mood. In an Italian meal, it’s easy to incorporate fresh seafood into a main course, providing more opportunity to meet your calcium quotient.

The Carb Question

Italian food is more than just pizza and pasta. In fact, traditional Italian cuisine has much more to do with market produce and fresh ingredients than it does with refined carbohydrates. Sure there are the noodles and the bread… but there’s also polenta and risotto. There are also dark, leafy greens and plenty of other veggies. This is one healthy cuisine.

Garlic and Basil and Olive Oil, Oh My!

Three more of the staple ingredients for traditional Italian cooking, garlic and basil and olive oil are chock full of healthy goodness. Olive oil is known for its cholesterol regulating properties, which make it great for guarding against inflammation. This in turn helps prevent a whole bunch of conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. It has been shown to be much healthier than processed vegetable oils such as sunflower oil.

Garlic has been shown to have cancer fighting properties, as well as the ability to help protect against high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol proportions. Garlic also has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Talk about a triple threat! It may give you pungent breath, but if you’re eating with a partner and you both share a garlic flavored meal, then where’s the problem? Especially when neither of you gets the flu!

As you can see, some of the fundamental ingredients in Italian cooking also carry with them some great healing properties. As with any cuisine, you’re going to want to pick and choose which dishes you prepare, exert some measure of control over your portion size, and make sure that you brush your teeth properly afterwards. The nice thing about Italian cuisine is that it contains so many basically healthy elements in its foundational ingredients. That’s enough to get any chef who’s interested in good health off to a great start. Happy menu planning!

There is No Reason to Be Afraid of the Dentist

How many of you are scared of going to the dentist? Well, you’re not alone. A 2006 study, conducted by telephone interview, surveyed a random group of 7312 Australians over the age of five from all over the country. The study found that over 16% of them had a high level of dental fear. Of course, this meant that those individuals were less likely to seek regular dental care, and so their teeth were in worse shape.

Interestingly enough, the group that feared the dentist the most was adults aged 40-64. That means we’re talking about grown-ups who ought to know better, rather than kids with wild imaginations who don’t understand what going to the dentist is all about.


Now, one could say that we’re all just big kids, and in some ways that’s a valid point. What it also says is that there is a significant amount of irrational fear of going to the dentist, and this is having a negative impact on people’s health. Let’s see if we can dispel some of the reasons why people are apt to be afraid of visiting the dentist.

Oh, the Pain, the Pain…

It hurts. That’s what people think, and it’s what they fear the most. The fact is, most dental pain is easily prevented by local numbing agents. Believe it or not, the dental profession has been working pretty hard over the last century to make it comfortable for dentists to work on your teeth. In fact, your comfort is big business, so you know that plenty of resources have been put into pain management for dental care.

Thinking Differently About Your Dentist

Let’s have a look at this from a different angle. Your dentist is actually there to help lessen your pain and suffering. Your dentist would love nothing more than for you to have a mouth filled with strong, healthy teeth. But how would they stay in business, you think. Don’t worry about that. Managing the health of teeth over the course of someone’s lifetime is a full occupation. There are cleanings, whitenings, and straightenings to be done. There are accidents that must be treated. Teeth get old and fall out. Wisdom teeth grow in awkwardly and must be removed to ensure proper functioning of the remaining teeth. In short, dentists have plenty to do, and would be very happy if they didn’t have to also tend to severely decayed teeth.

But I’m So Embarrassed!

There’s no need to be embarrassed because you are afraid to go to the dentist. As we said, you are not alone. Many people are terrified. In fact, they are so terrified that they avoid seeking dental care altogether. Unfortunately, the longer you go without tending to your teeth, the worse they become. What may have started out as a small, easily treatable cavity can become a thoroughly infected tooth that must then be removed. The problem becomes, ironically, so much more painful when not addressed early.

How Can My Dentist Help Me Manage Fear?

Here at Canada Bay Dental, we specialize in working with people who fear the dentist, helping to put their minds at ease. We will answer all of your questions before you receive treatment. We may offer nitrous oxide to help relax you as we work on your teeth. And of course, we offer a full range of options to numb the parts of your mouth that require potentially uncomfortable drilling or other procedures. We may even recommend some type of pre-medication to help you relax.

Perhaps your fear is not associated with pain. Perhaps you have other issues related to the personal nature of having someone work closely in your mouth and around your face. There’s nothing to be ashamed about that. Many people have negative associations with this type of treatment, as it may feel invasive or otherwise threatening to them. Again, our dentists are specially trained to be sensitive to all of your needs. They will go slowly and talk you through their treatment of you.

If you are afraid of going to the dentist, give us a call and see what we can do to help!

What to Do if You Forget Your Toothbrush

You forgot your toothbrush at home. You’re travelling. Or perhaps you’re sleeping over at a friend’s house. Or maybe you’re camping, or worse, there’s been an emergency, and you need to spend the evening at a hospital tending to a sick friend or family member. In any of these cases, what are you going to do if you have no toothbrush? 

Well the obvious first answer, of course, is to buy a new one. Well yeah, that would solve it all, wouldn’t it… But for any of a number of reasons, you may not be able to get to a store to pick up a new toothbrush and well, your teeth and breath are not really keen on waiting. But don’t fret. There are a few things you can do until you and your toothbrush are reunited to keep the oral bacteria at bay…

Ask and You May Receive

If you are staying in a hotel, the concierge may actually be able to help you. Some hotels do keep spares on hand as a courtesy to their guests. It never hurts to ask. Hospitals actually stock disposable toothbrushes for their patients. Known as oral swabs, they look like pink foam lollipops and are pre-medicated with toothpaste that foams when you wet it. They are purposely gentle, as they are created for use in patients who may have sensitive or bleeding gums, or even mouth sores, as a side effect to chemotherapy or some other medical condition. They will, however, do for anyone in a pinch.

The Old Finger Toothbrush

It’s a tried and true method. In a pinch, your finger may actually be quite useful in cleaning the surfaces of your teeth, or at least taking off some of the gunk that’s been collecting over the course of the day. If you have toothpaste, fantastic! Smear it on, swish it about with some water, and you’re good to go.

If you don’t have access to toothpaste, baking soda is actually a terrific alternative, and will scrub the surfaces of your teeth nicely without damaging them, provided you are gentle. In fact, baking soda is an ingredient in a lot of toothpastes, due to its ability to help neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay. Even if you do recover your toothbrush, you may want to consider including baking soda in your oral care regimen.

Natural Toothbrush Substitutes

Sage leaf is good to rub on your teeth to help get them clean. Chewing on certain twigs such as birch or elm, or licorice root can be helpful in cleaning your teeth’s surfaces. Cactus or pine needles also make great natural toothpicks! Crunchy vegetables such as carrots or celery can actually help to clean your teeth, too! Even apples can be helpful, although you would need to make sure and rinse your mouth with water afterwards, to remove any of the remaining sugar.

Of course, your most powerful natural resource is always going to be water. It helps to wash away food debris, as well as sugars that may remain in the mouth after eating. It helps to neutralize acids produced by bacteria. These acids are at the root of dental decay, so anything you can do to counteract their effects is fantastic.

 Chewing Sugarless Gum

It’s usually not high on any dentist’s oral care list, but in a pinch, some sugarless gum can actually go a long way towards cleaning the surfaces of your teeth until you can properly brush them. Like anything, don’t overdo it, and certainly don’t think about using gum as a regular substitute for brushing your teeth. But hey, in an emergency, you do what you can.

And you might want to consider getting a spare toothbrush to keep in your handbag or briefcase, for just such an emergency…

What to expect with adult braces

Think You Might Want to Get Braces as an Adult?

The situation is simple: You’re a grownup and you want to get braces. Let’s talk about some of the things you should think about before you make this decision. 

As you know, most dentists and orthodontists recommend that people start wearing braces when they are children. However, for one reason or another, many people are unable to get braces when they are younger. Perhaps their families can’t afford it, or maybe the problems with their teeth didn’t begin until they were older. In any case, if you are an adult, and you are thinking about getting braces now, here are some things for you to consider:

Time and Money

There is a cost to getting braces. It can be anywhere up to $6000, depending on the type of braces you get and how long you need to wear them. Most orthodontists will offer some sort of a payment plan, so you wouldn’t need to come up with all of that money at once, but still, you must consider whether you have it in your budget to make this kind of investment.

Braces are typically worn anywhere from 9-18 months or longer. This is a long-term commitment that one must be prepared to make. Of course, you may be a candidate for Six Month Smiles, a new, cutting-edge orthodontic treatment. In fact, Canada Bay Dental is one of very few practices who offers this breakthrough service! Ask us about Six Month Smiles, to see if you qualify. It’s a less expensive and typically shorter path to straight teeth, and your friends may not even realize you’re wearing braces!

Physical Discomfort

We won’t lie to you. You will experience some discomfort with braces. Particularly in the beginning, right after they’ve been put on, you may feel pain as your teeth are adjusting to the pressure of being pulled in new directions. Some people don’t mind it too much, while others find it terribly uncomfortable. The good news is, it won’t last. Like anything new, having braces in your mouth takes a little getting used to, but then after a while, you won’t even notice they’re there.

Sometimes, particularly with metal braces, you can experience soreness in your mouth on the spots where the braces are rubbing against the inside of your cheek. Your orthodontist can give you some wax that can be applied to the parts that are particularly pokey!

You might find yourself drooling a little at night, as your mouth is not used to being full of extra hardware. It may not stay closed as it is used to doing. This bit is more of an inconvenience than anything, as it really won’t hurt you. You may need to do a little extra laundry, though, so if you find that painful, take note.

Changes in Your Appearance

Unless you opt for a translucent option, such as Invisalign or Six Month Smiles, it will be evident that you are wearing braces. There is nothing wrong with this. You just need to be prepared. If you are in an occupation that focuses on your physical appearance, such as public speaking, acting, or other types of performance, you may want to consider how braces will affect your work. Will it interrupt it altogether or will it merely require an adjustment? These are questions only you an answer.

The Benefits of Braces

There is one important thing to consider, particularly if you are in a profession that depends on your looking your best. While the wearing of braces may be a temporary inconvenience, the results will last a lifetime. The investment is certainly something that will have several important dividends:

  • – More Attractive Smile – Nothing contributes more to your good looks than a beautiful smile. This goes for men as well as women.
  • – Improvement of your Facial Appearance – When your mouth is looking the way you want it to, it makes your whole face look better! Sometimes, crooked teeth can actually affect the way your mouth looks in relation to the rest of your features. A straight smile can put everything into better proportion.
  • – Increased Confidence – Looking your best is one of the key foundations to building confidence. When we look good, we feel good about ourselves. It’s nice to be able to contribute to our overall sense of self, merely by changing one thing about our appearance.
  • – Better Oral Health – Crooked teeth can sometimes have negative medical consequences, if it means they are rubbing up against one another. This can result in the wearing away of enamel and an increased risk for cavities or chipped teeth. When teeth are straightened, they have a better opportunity to function properly and live a longer and healthier life.

Things to Remember if You Do Have Braces

  • – Your teeth will need some extra care while you are wearing braces. Here are several things to remember:
  • – Avoid sugary foods, hard, crunchy foods such as nuts and sticky foods that may get caught in braces. Your teeth are just a little more vulnerable right now, and you’ll want to minimize the chances of damage to teeth or the braces themselves. This means cutting down on the risk of developing cavities due to stray food getting caught in your braces.
  • – Avoid staining foods and beverages such as coffee, tea and curry. With so much of your teeth’s surface area covered, you want to minimize the amount of staining you do to the exposed surfaces. This way, when the braces are removed, your teeth aren’t looking discolored in the areas around where the braces were fitted. Who wants striped teeth??
  • – Brush your teeth more often than usual. Carry a toothbrush with you, and make sure you brush after each meal. You’ll want to look out for food getting caught in your braces, too. You don’t want to wear your spinach salad in your teeth for an entire afternoon.
  • – Visit your dentist or orthodontist regularly for check-ups and adjustments during the time you wear your braces. Maintenance is very important, to make sure things are going the way they should. If you ever have any problems or questions during this time period, you can always come in for an emergency visit to deal with unexpected issues.

If you’d like to do more research, this is an excellent website containing detailed information for adults who wear braces. And of course, give us a call any time, or make an appointment for a consultation about straightening your teeth.

Jonathan Barthelmess Offers Creative Ideas for Healthy Teeth Recipes

One of Australia’s hottest young chefs, Jonathan Barthelmess is the chef and co-owner of The Apollo restaurant in Potts Point, Sydney, alongside Longrain’s Sam Christie. Jonathan has made a career of incorporating Mediterranean techniques and flavors into his cooking. Mentored by Stefano Manfredi and Janni Kyritsis, he has built upon his own Greek heritage to develop his uniquely innovative style and techniques. 

Formerly the head chef at Coast, Jonathan earned that restaurant a 2007 Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat, and a five-star review from Time Out in 2008. In 2009, Coast was honored with a glowing review from Gourmet Traveller magazine’s Italian edition, and he was nominated for best new talent of the year.

In this interview, Jonathan talks about the importance of fresh produce in developing the menus for Italian cuisine offered at Coast that featured a heavy seafood component. Both of these are important ingredients of a nutritious diet, a foundation of overall health. And as you know, oral health and overall health go hand in hand.

Healthy Aspects of Jonathan Barthelmess’s Style of Cooking

One of the features of Mediterranean cooking that makes it supportive of tooth health is its reliance on fresh seafood. As we know, seafood such as sardines and mackerel with the bones in as well as shrimp, oysters and salmon are all good sources of calcium. Yogurt is another great source of calcium that is featured in the cuisine of many Mediterranean chefs.

At The Apollo, the Greek inspired menu contains many dishes that incorporate yoghurt, as well as a variety of healthy seafood entrees. Another wonderful, calcium-rich ingredient featured is walnuts. All of these foods are great for helping build and strengthen tooth enamel.

On a broader scale, the inclusion of wonderful ingredients like pomegranates, with their healthy, anti-oxidant properties, is a plus. Clearly this is a menu that showcases a great variety of fresh produce in exciting ways, from the Steamed Asparagus with Almonds and Chili to the Wild Weed and Cheese Pie. We also see a preponderance of dishes that are cooked over wood or charcoal, as opposed to the less healthy deep fried method that brings with it so many negative health consequences.

Even in the dessert menu, where we typically find the greatest threats to dental health as well as overall health, Barthelmess shows restraint and good sense. Items like Loukoumades (honey doughnuts) made with pomegranate, yoghurt and pistachio, Ouzo Marinated Pineapple Pomegranate Granita Vanilla Cream and a Walnut Filo Pastry with Coffee Cream seem to balance out the decadence of taste with the inclusion of healthy ingredients. While it wouldn’t be recommended to indulge in sweets like this every day, topping off a restaurant meal with one of these desserts once in a while wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for most people.

Learning from Celebrity Chefs

In recent years, cooking has merged with entertainment to create a legion of celebrity chefs who inspire us regularly with their delicious recipes. From  Master Chef to Alive and Cooking and everything in between, television cooking shows offer an abundance of creativity to give us ideas for creating our own meals in new and exciting ways. While we can’t expect any celebrity chef to be completely in line with all of our own dietary and health needs, we can certainly look to them for guidance when applying the principles we follow in practice.

And of course, there are the recipes. Trying new recipes is always a fun way to expand our repertoire of healthy dishes to prepare for ourselves and our families. The more comfortable you become with experimenting, the easier it becomes to substitute ingredients where necessary to adapt recipes for your own use.

Here’s a great one to try. It was featured on the Morning Show a little while back: Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb and Farro Salad. It’s a great representation of the way Jonathan Barthelmess uses whole foods and healthy ingredients to deliver nutrition and flavor in one, sumptuous package.

So You Want to Become a Dentist

Thinking of becoming a dentist, eh? Like many professions, the training will require a significant commitment of time and money towards your education. You’ll need to be strong in math and science. And it would be best if you weren’t a squeamish sort, as there is blood involved. But most importantly, as a health care professional, you’ll need to be genuinely concerned about the health and well-being of your patients. Sure, it’s a potentially lucrative career choice. But you’ll be working hard for that money, engaging with people at their most vulnerable:  Caring for their teeth. Let’s look a little more closely at what’s involved. 

What is Involved in Being a Dentist?

Dentistry is both an art and a science. The scope of the practice includes prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all disorders and diseases involving the mouth and parts of the body associated with the mouth. Your overall goal is to improve the quality of life in your patients. Like any medical practice, the level of responsibility for the welfare of others is high. You must be prepared to invest yourself in the well-being of others.

According to the Australian Dental Association, your duties as a dentist will include the following:

  • – Offering comprehensive assessments of all oral conditions, including accurate dental charting, recording a medical history, screening for tooth decay, periodontal disease and oral cancer, jaw analysis, tooth discoloration, saliva testing, and taking blood pressure, respiration and blood sugar (glucose) levels.
  • – Managing the complete cycle of x-rays, including prescribing, taking, processing and interpreting them.
  • – Performing detailed dental examinations to determine the exact conditions that affect your patients, and then developing a treatment plan to address them. When necessary, you’ll also be referring your patients to other specialists.
  • – Patient education in the areas of good oral hygiene, smoking cessation, overall health and optimum nutrition.
  • – Making impressions of teeth for the purpose of creating oral appliances such as crowns and bridges.
  • – Performing regular maintenance on the teeth of your patients in order to maintain their good health and when necessary, restore, repair, or even remove them.
  • – Managing all administrative aspects of your practice, including keeping accurate and detailed records and supervising all staff, including allied dental health professionals.
  • – Staying up-to-date on best professional practices within the industry, via continuous professional development (CPD).
  • – Acting as a spokesperson for related public health and educational messages, including marketing dental services that support best practices and industry developments.

Sounds like a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

How Do I Become a Dentist?

First off, know that dentistry is quite a competitive field. In Australia, there are currently about 930 graduates generated by dental schools each year, but the country only needs about 510 to keep up with the demand. The Australian Dental Association has responded to this situation by requesting a temporary freeze on international dental students coming to Australia to get their degrees. Hopefully this will avoid a rise in the number of unemployed dentists!

If you still want to be a dentist despite the competition, read on. According to the Australian Department of Education, the fundamental requirement for becoming a dentist is a university degree in dentistry, dental science or dental surgery. Alternately, you can complete an undergraduate degree in another related field, and then follow that with a post graduate degree in one of the aforementioned dental areas.

Even if you decide that being a dentist isn’t exactly what you’d like to do for your own career, hopefully this article has given you a better understanding of the comprehensive nature of the profession. The next time you visit your dentist, you’ll know better the level of training and dedication he or she brings to the table. You may also have a better idea of some of the things your dentist is qualified to assist you with managing, as it relates to your own dental health.

Whole Fat vs. Low Fat – The Current Discussion

Most dentists agree that dairy products as part of your daily diet offer good protection against the development of dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, or simply, cavities. Milk, yogurt and cheese all contain casein, a protein that helps calcium and phosphorous strengthen and protect the enamel of your teeth, effectively preventing cavities. In recent years, there has been a growing debate around the relative benefits of whole fat dairy and low-fat or reduced-fat versions of these same products. How does this debate ultimately impact the health of our teeth? 

Blame it on the Fat

In March 2014, the results of a big study were published in the journal of the American College of Physicians called Annals of Internal Medicine. This study concluded that “saturated fat does not cause heart disease.”How could this be? The wisdom that fat is always bad has been guiding global thought for decades. But a look at clinical evidence shows that despite what has been promoted in the past, facts do not support a continuing adherence to this belief. An analysis of American statistics in this regard shows a tremendous turnaround in our knowledge about the impact of saturated fat on human health.

It all started during the 1950s, when a persuasive American scientist named Ancel Benjamin Keys rose to prominence with his belief that saturated fats cause a rise in cholesterol levels, which in turn causes heart attacks. Thus began a long era of demonizing butter, cheese and red meat. Although it was later discovered that his research methods were faulty, Keys’s results were promoted and ultimately institutionalized by the American Heart Association, where by 1961 he wielded considerable influence as a member of the nutrition committee. Thus began a long era where vegetable oils were touted over animal fats, and whole grain food products earned the “heart healthy” label.

By the 1970s, even though studies that called into question many of these assumptions were emerging, these beliefs had become so entrenched in public perception, that it appeared to be too late to chart a new course. Along with the demonization of meats and cheese came a reliance on vegetable-based fats such as Crisco, and later processed oils manufactured from corn and soybeans. Again. An entire industry grew around these trends, further increasing the difficulty of challenging these beliefs.

Jump to the Present

Not only have rates of heart disease not decreased, but they have actually increased in unexpected ways. It seemed that with the decrease in consumption of animal fats, people began eating more carbohydrates and sugars, as well as using more processed vegetable oils. Concurrently, the population has experienced a rise in the rate of obesity and diabetes, and the rate of heart disease in women has grown to meet that of men, thanks to the high popularity of this kind of diet among women.

In 2007, The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that over 67% of Australian adults were overweight, and over 20% were obese. The country claims the third highest prevalence of overweight adults in the English speaking world, behind the United States (the highest) and New Zealand. Obesity has been cited as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, (which can also cause tooth and gum problems), as well as heart disease, strokes, cancer and gallstones

Last year’s paper, “Three Daily Servings of Reduced-Fat Milk: An Evidence-Based Recommendation?” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), also refuted the wisdom of using low-fat dairy products. The evidence is now in. The experiment has been a failure. Increased carbohydrate consumption has played havoc with blood glucose levels causing a rising obesity and diabetes epidemic. Processed vegetable oils have been linked with deadly cancers and other organ problems. But still the conversation continues.

Continuing Discussion

Currently, there is overwhelming evidence against widespread substitution of low-fat dairy products for their full fat originals. We have seen that to make up for the reduced calories in these low-fat dairy products, many people have turned to increasing their carbohydrates. In addition, some of these products or sweetened, or contain carbohydrate based additives that end up converting to sugar. This has caused a dangerous rise in blood sugar levels, with all of the attendant health consequences.

Still, some practitioners take a more nuanced approach. Kate DiPrima, spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, is concerned about total fat intake across the entire diet, and not just milk. American dietitian, Maryann Tomovic Jacobson suggests using low-fat milk as a tool to leave room for other, healthier fats in the diet such as walnuts.

The trend towards low-fat dairy products is the result of decades of habitual eating supported by official policy that will be hard to break. It seems well past time to look realistically at the devastating consequences on our overall health by the wholesale adoption of these policies, and make some sensible choices moving forward. The health of our bodies as well as the health of our teeth depends on it.