Author: leohennessy

5 Foods that improve your smile

Who doesn’t want a knock’em dead smile? Well we have all heard of foods and activities which aren’t so great for your pearly whites (like coffee, smoking). But here are 5 foods that will help give a brighter, whiter smile.

  • Cranberries: Cranberries, along with lots of other fruit, contain some whacky doodads called polyphenols. These chemical compounds my help to prevent plaque forming on your teeth, leading to a nicer, whiter smile.
  • Apples: High in fiber, biting into an apple literally has a scrubbing effect on your teeth. They also contain natural acids, which help to dissolve buildup. This scrubbing helps to remove stains from the enamel of your teeth
  • Dairy products: Cheese, mils, yogurt all contain calcium and phosphorous, which help to strengthen your teeth.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries contain malic acid that removes surface discolouration. They are so good at removing discolouration, they can even be used in home tooth whitening remedy. (we wont tell you how, but go look it up)
  • Water and sugar-free gum: not only does drinking water stop you from drinking other drinks (like cola), it helps provide your mouth with enough saliva. Saliva is one of the best cleaners of the mouth, and chewing sugar-free gum helps to stimulate saliva production, ensuring your mouth doesn’t dry out. Water and saliva also help wash away an surface plaque or sugar residue.

So when you’re preparing for your next big social event, try eating some of these foods to give your teeth a chance to shine!

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– Leo

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Alternatives to floss? Rejoice!

We get it. We aren’t robots who enjoy sticking string between our teeth. Flossing sucks. But it’s super necessary when it comes to taking care of your mouth. So while flossing might be the best thing for you, some of these alternatives are better than doing nothing at all!

  • Toothpick – Super basic, cheap and easy. It doesn’t do the best job, and please don’t think we are recommending this over flossing, but it can be better than doing nothing. Just be prepared to accidentally stab yourself a few times.
  • Flosser – Essentially a piece of plastic, with pre-loaded dental floss. The handle makes it easier grasp and control than regular dental floss. They come in various sizes, and handle lengths. Do they do as good a job as the real deal, no. There are still places these little guys cannot get to, but again, they are better than nothing. Easy to use on the go as well. (just in case you feel the need to be flossing when you are out and about)
  • Interdental Brush – Similar to the flosser, these little guys come in various sizes. The small brushes are designed to go through the gap between your teeth and clean them out. While they cannot clean all the way up and down the side of your tooth, they will clean out the pockets between teeth, just above the gums.
  • Water irrigators – On the more expensive side of things are the irrigators. These products shoot concentrated water (or air in some cases) between the teeth and gums, and can provide a very healthy clean. (pictured up top)

As always, check with your dentist if any of these are applicable to you, but you might find an easier way to clean between your teeth and gums!

What flossing products do you use? let us know!

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– Leo

State of decay – Australia’s teeth

You’re doing it wrong Australia! In regards to oral health at least. Thats what the latest studies show, and the numbers make for pretty grim reading. I’ll spare you the long boring essay and deliver some jaw dropping facts straight to your face:

The bad

  1. The average number of affected teeth is on the rise in children, both in permanent and baby teeth.
  2. In 2010, nearly half of children aged 12 had experienced decay in their permanent teeth.
  3. 3 in 10 adults aged 25-44 had untreated tooth decay.

The good

  1. Australians were more likely to have visited the dentist in the past 12 months than New Zealand residents (hahaha take that kiwi’s)
  2. Since 1987, the number of people with decayed, missing or filled teeth is declining.
  3. Young people have lover risk of gum disease than older people.

If you’re into graphs, numbers and facts, check out the full document from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing here:

Are you one of the 40% of people aged 15+ who didn’t visit a dentist in the last year? Maybe you know someone? Name and shame people, Name and shame!

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– Leo

Where can you go for information?

We here at Don’t Brush It Off are very conscious of the fact that we do not know everything there is to know about dental health. Your first source of information should be your dentist,  as they are qualified to answer any and all of your questions. But we understand you like to do your own research, and understand more about your personal health and wellbeing. So we’ve compiled a list of places you can check out to get accurate and insightful information about your oral health.

The Australia Dental Association (ADA) – The organisation that represents 90% of Australia’s dentists. They represent one of the most reputable places to get information, and their information is really top notch.

Their website is here: http://www.ada.org.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthyteethaustralia

Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW) – While the information they publish here isn’t overly engaging, the government publishes useful resources to help you not only keep your mouth healthy, but your entire body.

Website: http://www.aihw.gov.au/dental-and-oral-health/

Brands – If you ignore all the shameless self promotion, oral care brands often represent great places to find information. For instance, Oral B and Colgate both have well moderated facebook pages, which direct to their respective websites. Here you can find articles and information around various dental diseases, as well as suitable products.

Colgate: https://www.facebook.com/ColgateAustralia

Oral B: https://www.facebook.com/oralbau

Media

Newspapers, and other media sites often have health and wellbeing sections, and here you can find useful resources, interviews and opinions that you might not otherwise have access to.

The best of the bunch is the Huffington Post’s Health section, which you can find here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/healthy-living/

Do you have any places where you get information from? let us know!

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– Leo

Halloween can be #2spooky for your teeth

buzzkillington-animation-001-idlepic4xEverybody knows that eating a bunch of lollies is not going to be good for your teeth. But we don’t want to be Mr Buzz Killington over here.
So here are some thing to keep in mind this halloween to minimise the impact of all that delicious candy!

  • You don’t have to eat it all in one go! As tempting as it is to lie down face first in a pile of chocolate and eat until you explode, moderation is key.
  • Make sure you brush your teeth sometime soon after eating lollies, and before you go to sleep.
  • Try eating some sugar free gum after candy consumption. It increases the saliva in the mouth.
  • Keep sweet thing to mealtime to reduce the amount of time teeth are exposed to them.

Now for the fun stuff! Here are a couple of awesome halloween costumes, incase you’re stuck for costume ideas. (warning: all dental themed)

http://www.examiner.com/article/top-ten-dental-halloween-costumes

What are you going trick or treating as this year? Any costume suggestions? let us know!

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– Leo

Tell us your questions!

I’m sure you have some burning questions, questions you simply must have answered. What is the meaning of life? Will I find true love? Is mayonnaise an instrument?

Obviously there are questions out there that we cannot answer, but we will do our best to do so.

If you have any questions about dental hygiene, or there is a topic that you want us to explore, comment below!

Or ask on either of our social pages:

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– Leo

Mouthwash FAQ

It seems that nobody is quite sure about mouthwash. Should it be used? If so, when? Are there any side effects? What does it actually do?

Should I use mouthwash?

The short answer is, for most people, mouthwash is not a required part of your daily dental routine. There are benefits to mouth wash, and countless studies have demonstrated the benefits of fluoride in reducing cavities.

Most mouthwashes also contain an antibacterial agent, which can help to kill germs and bacteria that may live on your teeth and gums. This same antibacterial effect can help to sooth mouth ulcers and canker sores by reducing the amount of bacteria that can irritate them.

But there are also some downsides to mouthwash:

The alcohol content may irritate ulcers more than help them, especially by inducing pain. It is true that mouthwash can kill bad breath, but mouthwashes don’t discriminate between the good and bad bacteria in the mouth. Often mouthwash can mask the poor oral hygiene factors that are causing bad breath.

Alcohol-containing mouthwashes have also been linked to oral cancer for several decades, but with no definitive answers. Certain mouthwash ingredients may also raise your blood pressure. So there are some side effects of mouthwash.

When should I use mouthwash?

Mouthwash should not be used straight after brushing your teeth. Most toothpastes have more fluoride than mouthwashes, and this fluoride content is measured in parts per million (ppm). Brushing your teeth with toothpaste leaves a film of fluoride on your teeth, which helps to strengthen them and prevent cavities from appearing. Using a mouthwash immediately after brushing, which has a lower ppm, means that there is less beneficial fluoride left on your teeth. Therefore, mouthwash should be used at a different time than brushing and flossing.

It is also worth not to eating or drinking for 30 minutes following the use of mouthwash.

So…

Ultimately, mouthwash does not need to be part of your routine, but it can be beneficial if the right product is used in the correct way. These questions around necessity and product choice should be left to your dentist, as they know your dental history and your personal dental risk of disease.

Do you use mouthwash? Do you have a favourite product or brand? Le us know!

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– Leo

Weird rituals

Everybody has their own rituals in life. They can be anything from good luck superstitions, going for a run every morning, or biting your finger nails. And almost everybody has rituals when it comes to maintaining the health of their teeth. Some of these rituals are more mainstream, like brushing your teeth right before going to bed. But sometimes they can be a slightly more inappropriate…

Who are we to judge the weird and wacky things people do to themselves. As funny as sticking the rubber end of your toothbrush into your mouth is, we will certainly NOT be recommending that here. However, it is important to realise that establishing constructive rituals is one of the best ways to ensure good health.

So find a dental routine that works for you, and repeat. Before too long it will just be second nature.

What weird or interesting habits or routines do you have? For example, I need to set the volume to an even number on my TV, laptop and phone. Let us know in the comments below, or share on our social pages:

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– Leo

Dental Phobia

Admittedly, visiting the dentist isn’t the most enjoyable activity in the world. But having an irrational fear of the dentist is very common, and is one of the main reasons why people avoid visiting the dentist.

Like any phobia, a fear of the dentist is irrational. The sources of fear often stem from factors like:

  • Fear of pain
  • Embarrassment at the state of your teeth
  • Unfriendly or cold practitioners
  • Bad past experience
  • feeling of discomfort or helplessness

If you are one of the many people who suffer from dental phobia, it is important to realise that it is a common phobia, and that you aren’t alone in your fear. To try and get over your fear, try to limit the other stressful factors around the dentist:

  • Choose a time for your appointment when there is little else to stress you, or make you feel rushed
  • Perhaps a change of setting will help ease your fears. Find a new dentist who you find friendly and who makes you feel at ease
  • Perhaps arrange for some distractions during your next appointment. Often, more modern practices will have facilities that can play music, or play videos
  • If making the appointment is your first stumbling block, ask family or friends to make it on your behalf at a time that suits you
  • Practice mental or physical relaxation techniques, such as breathing patterns

And most importantly, try to remember how important visiting the dentist is. Oral health is important, not just for your teeth and gums, but for your entire body. Having a bright smile also does wonders for your self esteem.

Do you suffer from dental phobia? Maybe share a bad experience you had with the dentist? Our facebook and twitter pages represent a community of people who have had similar experiences, so come on over and join in.

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– Leo

How to floss

Flossing should be an important part of your oral care routine, but it can feel quite awkward flinging a piece of string between your teeth. People often complain that flossing makes them feel like they are strangling their fingers! It is important to use a technique that not only makes flossing easy, but that is comfortable on your teeth and your fingers.

Here are a few different guides that may help you to develop your own flossing technique, one which is comfortable and easy enough for you to integrate into your daily routine!

Here is a slightly different technique:

http://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-10/flossing/

Above all else, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Give yourself plenty of length! The piece of floss you use should be about 50cm long (or about 18 inches).
  • Your gums may bleed to begin with. This is normal, and should subside after a few days of regular flossing.
  • The best time to floss is at night, after you have brushed your teeth.
  • Don’t wrap the floss so tight around your fingers that you cut off the blood circulation.
  • Practice makes perfect! the more you floss, the better you will get at it.

If flossing is still an unbearable exercise for you, talk to your dentist about alternatives. They will be able to direct you to other products or solutions so that your teeth and gums remain healthy!

Do you find flossing cumbersome and annoying? What flossing products do you use? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

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– Leo