Most people are taught tooth brushing basics by their parents whilst young and generally, this is a positive thing. But sometimes people are given brushing advice that negatively affects their teeth and the brushing habit continued over many years leads to dental problems. Here are 7 of the worst oral hygiene mistakes that should be avoided.

Using the same toothbrush for years

Change your toothbrush at least every three months to keep your brushing effective. Generally, after three months, the bristles on your toothbrush become bent, worn and less effective.

Using a hard toothbrush

Using a medium or hard toothbrush can cause oral abrasion and gum recession. A soft toothbrush gently cleans whilst ensuring that no damage is done during the brushing process.

Skipping the floss

Brushing can’t reach all areas of your teeth. Debris within cracks and crevices as well as plaque build-up near the gum line can be missed with brushing alone. Daily flossing ensures that most areas of your teeth are properly attended to.

Forgetting your tongue

Brush your tongue and inside your cheeks as well. These areas harbor bacteria that can contribute to bad breath and tooth decay.

Brushing too hard

Go easy on your pearly whites. As long as your toothbrush is making contact with your teeth there’s no need to add forceful pressure. Excessive pressure can wear down your tooth enamel and cause receding gums. Dr Jest believes that in general it is better to use manual toothbrushes where possible. A mechanical toothbrush used wrongly can cause very serious damage to your teeth.

Not rinsing after eating

It can help to rinse your mouth with water after eating to dislodge remaining food particles from on and between your teeth. Rinsing also reduces the acidity left after food consumption. Remaining acidity can lead to bacterial growth.

Brushing right after eating

Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth. Acidic foods weaken tooth enamel and brushing immediately after food can cause enamel to weaken further. Give your saliva time to neutralise the acid before brushing your teeth.

Remember to visit your dentist for checkups and dental cleaning twice a year. Regular cleaning will remove plaque build-up so that you can avoid gum disease. Visiting your dentist is an important step in maintaining good oral hygiene so call to make a dental appointment today.

I’m too old for metal braces, what’s the alternative?

Contrary to popular opinion, age is not a preventing factor when it comes to having orthodontic braces. At least, it is not a strong factor by itself. Therefore, you are never really too old for braces.

There are, however, other things that might pose problems and these correlate with age. These include gum problems as well as bone problems at the root level. Older people can also have gaps and severe misalignments between teeth that make braces difficult.

Fortunately, there are still other treatment options available. These are all quite flexible and use devices that will not disrupt your daily routine. Consider exploring these and don’t deny yourself the benefits of a straighter smile.

1. Clear Braces

A great example of clear braces is Invisalign. Unlike normal braces, clear braces are used as a set of varying aligners. Patients can also remove them fairly easily at the end of each day. Each tray in the set is generally worn for two weeks. The length of this program can vary depending on what you are trying to treat. However, they are capable of addressing everything from mild overbite to severely crooked teeth.

2. Removable appliances

These devices are not used as much as fixed wire braces. They are used for correcting minor misalignment of teeth often. Once Orthodontic treatment has been completed a removable appliance can be fitted to keep the teeth in position – this is termed a Retainer. Removable appliances are more ideal for those who only have mild problems with teeth position. If you feel that your teeth could simply need a little bit more staightening, then a removable appliance may be an option.

3. Headgear

Headgear consists of an elastic headpiece that is joined by a metal bow to the orthodontic braces in the mouth. It is often recommended for bigger misalignments, but it is not usually necessary to wear it at all times. Most orthodontists these days will recommend that headgear be worn only for a set number of hours. This usually leads to headgear being used while sleeping and you never have to worry about people seeing you wearing it.

Summary

Again, age is not a big factor, but there can still be other issues that you need to check to see if you are not dentally or medically fit to have braces. Consult with “Doc” Martin about any possible gum problems you might have or any bone complications that run in your family.

With Orthodontic treatment we are here to help you. It is always wise to consider costs and length of treatment. As with any dental problem, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to crooked teeth. Get a better understanding of what is wrong with your teeth by coming to see Martin who will refer you to the best specialist to deal with your needs. If necessary have more than one consultation with different Orthodontists to find the best solution that suits you as an individual.

Maintaining a healthy smile and keeping all of your teeth for the rest of your life is not only possible, but it should always be your goal. Modern dentistry and routine dental care can eliminate the need for dentures and prosthetics as we age.

GOOD HABITS AND ROUTINE CARE

Over time, eating, grinding our teeth, and the acids in foods wear away the outer tooth enamel and biting edges of teeth. Good habits and routine care can reduce these effects of aging and help prevent tooth loss.

Daily care

It’s best to begin as a child, but you are never old to start a healthy, daily teeth care routine that includes:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Rinsing

Consistent daily care reduces the decay-causing bacteria and food residues in the mouth that feed them. The result is fewer dental problems and teeth that will last.

Regular dental exams

Teeth tend to become less sensitive with age. Regular exams can detect problems in a timely manner that you might not notice because of reduced tooth sensitivity.

A dental exam and cleaning will also find and remove plaque that your daily routine misses, protecting gum and tooth health. Your dentist can also recommend the toothbrush and mouthwash that is best for your mouth and gums.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is the single greatest cause of tooth loss. Signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Pockets or gaps between the gums and teeth
  • Low gums that expose a larger than normal amount of tooth.
  • Bad breath

Gum disease is treatable, but ignoring it can lead to tooth loss.

Dry mouth

Reduced saliva, or dry mouth, can make eating, talking and swallowing difficult and lead to gum infections and disease. Aging and the medications that seniors often take can cause dry mouth. Increasing water intake and using sugarless gums recommended by your dentist can help to increase saliva flow. There are many mouth moisteners available from the Pharmacy that can assist your oral function and make life more comfortable.

Health

Overall physical health does affect teeth. Maintaining a nutritious diet and getting exercise as we age is as important to tooth health as to the rest of the body.

Keep your mouth young. With a lifelong dental care plan, there is no reason that you can’t keep your teeth into old age and your smile bright and healthy for life.

In the modern world of extended longevity, we have to look after our teeth very carefully for them to last a lifetime. It is very common to come across people with missing teeth. This can be very distressing if you have to lose some yourself.

If you have missing teeth it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible since choosing to replace them can impact greatly on your appearance and your ability to eat properly. It can also affect the health of the other remaining teeth. The major effect of tooth loss is a misalignment of the dental arch and the tilting of the adjacent teeth.

Apart from these dental complications, there are other obvious issues of poor appearance and loss of chewing function, which can be caused by having missing teeth. Although there are several ways to replace lost teeth dental implants should always be considered as a very good option for replacing missing teeth. Here are some of the main benefits of dental implants.

  1. Healthy and natural looking replacement teeth-  Successfully placed implants can give a stable and strong tooth replacement. A dental implant helps to restore the lost tooth so that it can fit and function like any other natural tooth. Other options of replacing teeth are available but may lead to deterioration or damage of adjacent teeth and may mean that you have bars or plates across the palate or under the tongue which can be uncomfortable.
  2. Long term solution- Implant supported dental bridges give a stable and cosmetically great alternative to dentures. With good care from the patient and dentist they can last for decades. It is important to point out however that no dental device lasts forever and you can expect they will need to be maintained. This is also the case of course with tooth supported bridges and dentures but most people feel that once dental implants are fitted they feel very natural.
  3. Ability to enjoy your daily life- Dental implants give a great result for most patients where they are indicated. You will able to smile, eat, drink and speak normally and confidently if they are fully integrated into the bone and carefully maintained. 
  4. Retain your normal face shape and smile- When a tooth is extracted the bone supporting the tooth disappears as well and the tissues tend to dip in and change contour. The aim of replacing the tooth quickly with a dental implant helps to maintain as much of the natural tissues as possible and to give good gum contour and shape. It is important to note however, that the longer the tooth is missing the more difficult it is to get a totally natural appearance. So there is a need to act quickly and discuss the matter with Dr Jest

Speak to your dentist about whether dental implants are suitable for you.

Mouthguards provide teeth with protection from trauma for those who play contact sports. A mouthguard can also be used to stop teeth grinding that occurs during the night. These protective devices are available from dentists and chemists. While a mouthguard from the chemist is less expensive than one from the dentist, should you go with this option? It’s important to understand the differences between chemist-bought and dentist-provided mouthguards and weigh the pros and cons before making a purchase.

Mouthguards from the chemist

Purchasing a mouthguard from the chemist offers convenience and a lower price tag. Instead of having to make an appointment with the dentist and go through the process of having a custom-made mouthguard created, you can select a ready-made one from the store and wear it right away. Due to the one-size-fits-all nature of mouthguards found at the chemist, they do not cost as much as the custom-made ones from the dentist. You also do not have to schedule follow-up visits in order to ensure a proper fit as you would with a custom-made mouthguard.

The disadvantages of mouthguards from the chemist

There are some major disadvantages related to chemist-bought mouthguards to take into consideration. Mouthguards from the chemist are:

  • Not as durable as those that come from the dentist and definitely do not offer the same amount of protection during sports play.
  • Often uncomfortable to wear due to an improper fit, which makes them more difficult to wear for the duration of the sporting match. This means that they often get left in the bag and not used by young people.
  • Often loose and bulky and can obstruct proper breathing, undermining the athlete’s ability to perform on the sporting field.
  • They don’t come in your team colours!

Custom-made mouthguards from the dentist

Mouthguards from the dentist are custom-made, which helps ensure a proper and comfortable fit. Dentists check to make sure that these protective devices fit the way they should and make adjustments as needed. These custom-made mouthguards do require more than one trip to the dentist for a consultation and fittings. They also cost more than ones that come from the chemist, since they must be individually created in a laboratory.

The advantages of custom-made mouthguards

Custom-made mouthguards offer important benefits compared to mouthguards from the chemist, including:

  • Better protection for those who play contact sports and for those who have a serious problem with teeth grinding.
  • Highly durable material that is less likely to be chewed through.
  • A custom fit so that wearing the mouthguard is comfortable. Comfortable mouthguards get worn!
  • A massive range of custom colours. Trendy mouthguards get worn and so protect more teeth.

If you would like more information on mouthguards for sports or teeth grinding, talk to your dentist about your options today. This can help you to determine your best mouthguard option.

The one thing about dental emergencies is that they typically happen with little or no notice. The best way to protect yourself and others in such emergency situations is to be prepared ahead of time and know what to do if an emergency arises. How you react in the minutes following a dental emergency may determine if you or a loved one retains or loses a tooth.

Here’s a look at the top dental emergencies that can happen to anyone at any time and what to do.

Toothache

A toothache may not sound like a dental emergency, until you have one. Pain associated with a toothache can be quite intense. It is important to clean out the area where the pain is coming from as soon as possible. Use a combination of brushing, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing to remove any debris from around your teeth and gums that may be causing the problem. Contact your dentist as soon as possible before the pain worsens. Most people put off paying attention to those warning niggles of pain. Please don’t! They usually worsen at most inconvenient times for you and the dentist! The quicker you get the problem treated the fewer the complications, and normally the cheaper it will be to get rid of the pain.

A chipped or cracked tooth

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, it is important to collect as many fragments of the broken tooth as possible and rinse your mouth out, being careful not to lose any pieces. You should keep the fragments of your tooth in a cup of warm milk or water and contact your dentist immediately. Be sure to take all the fragments to the dentist with you.

Knocked out tooth

It is possible to replace a knocked-out tooth if you can keep the tooth in good condition and get to a dental office within 60 minutes. You should rinse your mouth out with warm water. If possible try to place the tooth back into your mouth in its usual position and hold it there until you can get to the dentist. This is normally not painful at all to most peoples surprise, and is best achieved quickly before a blood clot forms. Hold the tooth by the enamel at the biting tip and rinse off any dirt with warm water. Quickly and gently rotate it side to side back into place. Don’t be afraid to push it right up to it’s normal place, comparing it to the teeth on either side. If you cannot get your tooth to fit back into its usual space, then place the tooth in a cup of milk or warm water to preserve it. You can also press a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling. Again get to the dentist FAST. The quicker it is put back the fewer the complications. (Never let the tooth dry out!)

Tooth abscess

An abscess on a tooth is a sign of a serious infection in your mouth and one of the most serious dental emergencies. If you have severe swelling of your gums, cheek, floor of mouth, neck or throat area next to a sore or broken down tooth it is important to contact a dentist immediately or seek treatment at the local hospital emergency room. A medical professional will provide advice and treatment to fight the infection.

If you are currently experiencing a dental emergency, please contact our reception staff and explain your circumstances. We will do our best to attend to you as soon as possible. Here at Dr Martin Jest Dental Surgery we treat dental emergencies as a priority!

With a little time and innovation, feeding your children dentist recommended snacks is an investment that will pay off for years to come. You’ll not only save on your dental bills, but your children will enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth from good snacking habits. 

Getting your kids to eat teeth healthy snacks can be a challenge. The best way to educate them about the importance of caring for their teeth is by providing snacks that are not only nourishing, but also appealing.

Children’s dentists recommend snacks such as these:

  1. Gouda, Swiss, or other aged cheeses. They help stimulate the flow of saliva, which washes away food particles from teeth. They’re also high in calcium, which builds strong teeth.
  2. Vegetables and fruits with high water content, such as cucumbers, pears, melons and celery. The water content helps wash away food particles. Avoid fruits with concentrated sugar, such as raisins and dried fruit.
  3. Serve milk or water. Juices have a lot of sugar, but milk has high calcium content which is good for the teeth and growing body – unless your child has lactose intolerance.
  4. Crackers, rice cakes, pita bread and breadsticks are low sugar carbohydrates to accompany fruit, yogurt, cheese, or hummus.
  5. Nuts and seeds can be served to older children, but best with parental supervision to avoid choking.
  6. Combine cheeses with crackers or pretzels, cut fruit into fun shapes, or serve apple wedges with peanut butter to make healthy snacks more fun.

With a little time and innovation, feeding your children dentist recommended snacks is an investment that will pay off for years to come. You’ll not only save on your dental bills, but your children will enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth from good snacking habits. 

Stained teeth can be embarrassing, making people feel too awkward to smile or even talk to others. In this article, we’ll tell you about what causes teeth staining and what you can do about it.

What causes stained teeth?

Stained teeth are most often acquired by drinking coffee, tea, wine, and smoking. If a food or drink stains your clothing its more than likely it can stain your teeth.

However, food and drink isn’t always the culprit. Sometimes stains are caused by conditions we have little control over like aging and damaged enamel. Also, certain medications can stain your teeth from the inside out when the teeth are forming. So can underlying medical or dental conditions.

What can I do about it?

If you have stained teeth, take heart. Lots of people begin to address minimal staining at home and get excellent results using dentist prescribed home bleaching or regularly brushing with fluoride toothpastes.

How your dentist can help.


Unfortunately, self-medicating to remove severe stains is not successful with the aid of do-it-yourself methods, especially if staining is caused by medications or medical conditions. The good news is that modern dentistry can offer a wide variety of options to bring out the best in your teeth regardless of the cause.


Your dentist will first recommend a thorough tooth cleaning if you haven’t had one recently. Depending on the severity of stains this may involve several visits. When cleaning alone isn’t enough to restore your teeth to their former glory your dentist can recommend a treatment plan to give you back your sparkly whites (even if they weren’t exactly Hollywood-white in the first place.)


Correcting stained teeth at the dentist’s office may be as simple as taking two visits  – preliminary tooth shades, and impressions to fabricate the Dentist prescribed custom made bleach trays. Then coming back to fit the trays and having Dr Jest demonstrate the simple procedure for their use over seven to ten nights. We do also offer a complimentary visit to make sure you are happy with the shade change at the end of that time.

Dr Jest only recommends home whitening treatment using these trays as it is way more successful than in surgery bleaching using a light to activate the bleaching gel. The reason for this is that the gel has to penetrate into the enamel and dentine to achieve it’s effect and this can only happen properly if it is allowed to sit on the tooth for a prolonged time. Gels in bleach trays are active for about six hours which is more than enough to achieve this goal.


Another option is the application of dental veneers where a thin layer of dental material is custom molded over your real teeth. Veneers are a good choice for those who never had naturally white teeth or when stains are caused by medications or dental conditions. Veneers can even correct any imperfections in your teeth like gaps or chips in addition to covering up stains.


Still frowning over your stained teeth?


Knowing which treatment option best corrects your teeth begins with making an appointment with your dentist. Call us today so can know what options are currently available to get you smiling again.

Who doesn’t love the feeling of a clean mouth right after visiting the dentist’s office? But we can’t visit the dentist every day for a professional cleaning – which means, of course, that we must practice oral health at home to keep that feeling of freshness every day. So, what can we do to look after our teeth between visits to the dentist?

Here are five tips for practising better oral health at home:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day – be sure to use fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Remind yourself to use a proper brushing technique – Think about how you brush your teeth by checking and watching what you do in the bathroom mirror. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your brushing time by holding the bristles against your teeth, then tilting them at a 45-degree angle to point up into your gums. Don’t brush hard or side to side. Move the bristles in a circular motion as you clean all surfaces of your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to brush the top of your tongue, as bacteria live there too.
  3. Replace your toothbrush regularly – they should be replaced every three months – once the bristles are worn past a certain point they don’t clean as thoroughly and can also damage gums. If the brush bristles splay out like a toilet brush you are probably brushing too hard or with the wrong technique – check number 3 again!
  4. Don’t forget to floss, flossing once per day is recommended to clean the areas of our teeth and gum line that a toothbrush simply can’t reach. Be sure to ask your dental team about the best flossing method to use and be sure to let your dentist know if your gums bleed or you experience pain while flossing. Martin advises flossing at night before brushing, this gets rid of the plaque between the teeth and allows the fluoride toothpaste to get to those hard to reach interdental areas and promote enamel healing. Flossing at night means 8 hours of minimum plaque on your teeth, isn’t that great.
  5. Avoid sugary foods and beverages, as bathing your mouth in sugar throughout the day leaves your teeth and gums at the mercy of acid producing plaque which love regular sugary snacks! Lowering the number of sugary drinks you consume throughout the day by replacing them with water will do both your mouth and your health in general a favour!

Good oral health means far more than a white smile and pleasant breath
Our oral health affects the rest of our body, so being focused on keeping teeth and gums free of food and plaque benefits us long after we’ve visited the dentist’s office.

As you can see from the points above, it doesn’t take much time or effort to practice good oral health at home – so there’s no excuse not to!

Dear patients,

COVID-19 has been a very difficult time for all of us. Many of you were forced to wait for dental care, and we deeply appreciate your understanding while we kept our practice closed to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Most of you are probably aware that we are back to full work hours and are seeing all patients once again.

Your health and well-being continue to be our highest priority, and we are ONLY opening because we have carefully planned and revised our practice procedures to greatly minimize the risk of infection for our patients and our team members. Our own families are also patients here, so you can be assured that we’ll be taking care of you just as well as we’ll be taking care of them.

For your peace of mind, the measures we will be taking to provide a safe dental treatment experience include, but are not limited to, the following:

Upon Your Arrival at the practice
● Patients will be screened BEFORE entering the practice and temperatures will be checked on entry. Any patients showing signs of a fever or other symptoms of illness will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
● ONLY patients and guardians be allowed entry into the practice. We ask that a second parent and other family members wait outside whenever possible.
● Patients are asked to wait in their cars or outside the practice until their scheduled appointment time. We will call you when we are ready to take you into the clinic room.
● The waiting area chairs have been reduced in number and will be spaced apart to allow for social distancing.
● We will ask that you continue to practice social distancing measures in common areas of the practice, including the front desk.
● The front door handles are cleaned between each patient entry. Internal doors will be regularly disinfected and handled by staff only.
● There will be no physical contact with patients with the exception of treatment.

During Treatment
● All treatment rooms will be disinfected before each patient is seated, and public areas, including restrooms, will be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day.
● Our team will STRICTLY follow guidelines set forth by the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, Occupational Health Services Australia, and Australian Dental Association in regards to personal protective equipment (PPE), practice disinfection and sterilization of reusable instruments.
● During patient care, goggles or protective glasses will be worn by staff and disinfected between patients.
● All surfaces that came in contact with the patient will be wiped with disinfectant including the patient chair and the accessory chair where the patient placed their personal items.

Checking Out After Your Appointment
● After every transaction, the checkout desk and will be wiped with a disinfectant.
● We prefer financial transactions using electronic means and not cash wherever possible. We ask patients to swipe their own health fund cards through the eftpos terminal and that you “hover” your cards over the terminal so no contact is made.
● For staff and patient protection we have fitted a “sneeze screen” on the front desk to help minimize aerosol spread of infection. Transactions will be undertaken through a slot under the screen.

We are proceeding with an abundance of caution, but we want you to feel as confident as we do that any visit you make to our practice will be a safe one.

We also realize that many of you have been impacted financially during this outbreak, and we are offering some solutions to keep dental care affordable for you and your family.

To discuss these payment options, schedule an appointment, or ask us any questions you may have about your next visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 07 3359 1996

We look forward to seeing you soon!
Dr Martin Jest and Staff