A Clean Mouth for a Healthy Pregnancy Wednesday, October 9, 2013 @ 11:31:14

Considering the Dentiform office is expecting a new (nappy wearing, dummy sucking) addition in January, I thought it poigniant to look at oral hygiene when it comes to pregnancy and how not looking after your teeth and gums can lead to big problems during (and perhaps after) those seemingly endless 9 months.

According to a recent study published by the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease, also known as   periodontal disease, or the inflammatory chronic condition that attacks the gums and bone around the teeth, can lead to premature labor and a low-birth weight.

A lot of mothers don't realise the importance of regular checkups at the dentist, both for their personal health and the health of their baby. Brushing and flossing make up such a simple and small part of our daily routine, yet they are not something to overlook. They help keep a clean mouth, and maintain a healthy pregnancy for women.

Even though there's a million and one other appointments to make and remember to actually go to when  you're pregnant, it's as simple as this: periodontal disease can be avoided with regular trips to the dentist.

Did you know, something like 60% of women say that they never visited a dentist during pregnancy, according to data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. And 35% percent said they did not have a dental visit within the past year.

All of these factors may harm a mother during childbearing.

Getting things straight.
Preterm birth can be defined as a delivery earlier than 37 weeks gestation, while low birth weight is considered anything less than 5.5 pounds. It is important to note that not all preterm births result in an unhealthy child, yet they undoubtedly factor in.

What are the specific problems associated with early pregnancy?
Going into premature labor can have serious neurological repercussions for the child, including vision and hearing impairment, chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy and developmental problems. It can even be fatal for some babies. Preterm birth is one of the leading cause of neonatal mortality.

Let's break it down. All nutrients a mother consumes are shared with the baby she is housing. So, if Mum has bacteria buildup or an infection in her mouth, those circulate into the bloodstream of her body and get absorbed into the body of the baby.

Avoiding preterm pregnancy.
Again, an irritable or a receding gum line may be one of the first signs of gum disease. This process can often be hard to identify because it occurs so gradually. Yet, for mothers, the high acidity levels in vomit during morning sickness tacks on additional harm to teeth and gums, as it can corrode teeth enamel and worsen the health of gums.

Pregnant women should ask themselves these easy questions: do you have swollen gums, problems eating or chewing food, a toothache or any other issues with your mouth? And, crucially, when was your last visit to the dentist?

If the second question takes a few seconds of staring up at the ceiling racking your brain to remember, than it's likely time to schedule an appointment. At this point, it is not only about you, but the wellbeing of the baby.

What do dental professionals advise for expectant mothers?
Brush teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Floss daily. Most of us do the first part but skip out on the flossing. Unlike using a toothbrush, flossing is meant for interdental care, and can get in between teeth to remove plaque that can lead to gum decay.

-- Choose water instead of carbonated beverages during pregnancy. Water helps wash down food particles and clean out the mouth.

-- Avoid excessive snacking and eating sugary foods in between meals.

-- Chew sugarless gum after eating, it helps decrease acid levels in the mouth.

For expected mothers, good oral health and good physical health should be solidified as one and the same. Everything is shared between a baby and the mother, and at the end of the nine months, maintaining a clean and healthy mouth will put a smile on your newborn's face.

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The Effects of Smoking on your Teeth Friday, September 27, 2013 @ 18:26:32

Its a pretty well known fact that not only is smoking a major cause of many health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer...its also a major cause of tooth and gum issues.

But, on the upside...its important to know that a lot of the effects from smoking on dental health can be reversed and even erased completely.  Dentists have many ways that they can now help to repair some of the oral damage done by cigarettes and tobacco.

Some of the worst effects from smoking on oral health include:

smokers teeth

  • Bad breath and halitosis. 
  • Chances of having gum disease are doubled by smoking. 
  • Smoking changes the types of bacteria in your mouth, and this could turn into the bacteria that are more harmful to your teeth and gums. 
  • Teeth can lose their shiny white and become yellow and tar covered. This is caused by the nicotine and tar in the tobacco used in cigarettes. 
  • The salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth can become inflamed Increased risk of leukoplakia. 
  • Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. These problems could delay healing from any dental procedures. 
  • Increased risk of developing oral cancer. 
  • Decreased senses of tastes and smell. 

Dentists Can Help

Smile makeovers are the ideal solution for smokers who want to gain their self confidence back and smile again without feeling like they have something to hide.

Of course, its important to remember this doesn’t address all the possible damage or health problems, however, is a great start on the road to making things a hell of a lot better. Cosmetic dentists will be able to help you to gain your confidence and your smile back.

If you’re interested in learning more about making over your smile before making an appointment at the dentist...Give us a call on 02 9415 6868 for a free, over the phone discussion on what direction to take and we can refer to you to an appropriate dentist in your area.

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3D Printers - the future of dental design Wednesday, September 25, 2013 @ 13:50:27

For a growing number of dental lab owners, digital dentistry is already here...in the form of 3D printers.

At the very heart of the new era in digital design is 3D printing and by combining oral scanning, CAD/CAM design and 3D printing, we as dental labs have the ability to accurately and rapidly produce crowns, bridges, stone models, and a range of orthodontic appliances for dental offices.

By eliminating the bottleneck of manual modeling the time saved is incredible.  

Dental labs around the world now use 3D printers to: 

  • Fabricate accurate stone models directly from orally scanned digital files
  • Integrate with intraoral 3D dental scanners and a range of dental design software
  • Produce true-to-life veneer prototypes – enabling patients to try and test their veneers prior to making an order
  • Produce delivery trays – allowing dentists to more accurately align & insert real veneers
  • Deliver surgical guide and orthodontic appliances directly from your choice of software
  • Produce series of clear aligners and retainers quickly and precisely from digital files

Have a look at this article from the Newcastle Herald about how a number of schools in the Hunter region have incorporated 3D printers into their teaching modules...recognising that every single industry in the future could benefit from this kind of technology...now, just to wait until the prices drop a little.

3d printer article

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Chalky Teeth - a silent epidemic Wednesday, September 18, 2013 @ 15:41:17

Here’s a bit of a worrying fact, something like one in six children is affected by a condition known as hypomineralisation or on a more self explanatory note, ‘chalky teeth’...where a child’s teeth are formed with less mineral, making them more prone to crumbling and having dental decay leading to loss of their adult molars and putting them on a path to years of expensive dentistry and orthodontics. As a parent its something to worry about, but more importantly something to really watch for...particularly since the condition seems to be on the increase, with a number of paediatric dentists believing its due to the decay rate going down, and actually being able to identify the condition before decay has affected these teeth. The most commonly affected tooth is the first adult molar, which is the tooth that erupts at about six years of age. However, there can be effects on primary molars and other teeth within the mouth.

Chalky Teeth

So, take a good look inside your child's mouth, here's the things to watch for; a tooth that is discoloured, white, yellow or brown chalky patches, or a hole may form in the tooth quite quickly after it has come through the gum...but watch out, apparently it can affect the front teeth as well...the permanent incisors may have the same chalky patches on them, but normally the dental decay is not as severe in the front teeth as in the first permanent molars.

We know that early management of these teeth works and early detection can prevent the condition from getting worse...things like fissure sealants to protect the teeth and re-mineralising paste which can help to strengthen the teeth can be used, or things like fillings can be performed rather than requiring more extensive procedures like crowns or extraction.

So, obviously, if you think your child has ‘chalky teeth’, the first thing to do is seek dental advice as soon as possible…fortunately a lot more affordable now that the new government is in place.

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The Incoming Government's Plans For Dental Care Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 09:46:45

Well, our new PM is the son of a dentist...so it makes sense that his incoming Coalition Government has committed to retaining current funding levels for dental care...well at least over the short to medium term...although he has signalled intent to transition all programs to the Medicare system.

Tony Abbott

So what does it mean for the Dental Industry?

The health policy for the incoming Coalition Government was released in August 2013 and traversed issues including public hospital funding, timely access to medicines, healthcare practitioner teaching, bowel cancer screening, diabetes prevention and treatment in addition to dental health. Separate policies were released for mental health, seniors’ health, veterans’ health in addition to medical research.

The Coalition’s policy states that the new government will honour the arrangements under the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) for adult public dental services and will continue to work with stakeholders, patient representatives and state / territory governments to improve the scheme as necessary. This program is to provide $200 million over FY2014/15 and $295 million over FY2015/16. At the expiry of the NPA, the Coalition will seek to transition the respective adult dental services to the Medicare system.

This in particular is an exciting opportunity, the Coalition's annoucement of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, which is due to commence on 1 January 2014, this is to provide access to $1,000 in Medicare dental benefits for eligible children. Funding for this program is $203.4 million over FY2013-14, $620.2 million over FY2014/15 and increasing to $653.2 million over FY2015/16. This is to be used by the Coalition to assess the best way of using the Medicare system to expand the Australian Government’s funding of dental and oral health services.

The intent of the Coalition to use the Medicare system as its preferred funding mechanism for dental and oral healthcare, as opposed to providing tied funding to state / territory governments.

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Offshore dental work Thursday, August 29, 2013 @ 14:20:26


It's election time in Australia, and one of the most concerning issues is the growth of offshore industry putting competitve pressure on small Australian businesses.

China Lab

We support our professional association, OHPA, in their lobbying efforts to ensure a level playing field, and most importantly that you, the consumer, are aware of the risks of using potentially less regulated offshore work. Be careful! - and support Australian business! - Dentiform.com.au is an Australian based dental laboratory. All work is done in house, and on shore in sunny Roseville.

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