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What is an OPG?

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What is an OPG?

OPGs are dental X-rays of the upper and lower jaws (Orthopantomagrams). This is a two-dimensional depiction of a half-circle from the ears to the ears. Using panoramic x-rays, multiple pictures of the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) can be collected to form a composite panoramic image. Objects outside of the viewing area appear fuzzy. You will almost certainly dohave an OPG at some stage throughout your dental treatment.

Any teeth that have not yet surfaced or erupted through the gum line, as well as their number, location, and rate of growth, are also evident on an OPG. It’s not like the close-up x-rays of individual teeth that dentists take. It displays less fine detail, but it covers a much broader area of the picture. For example, this can be used to check for wisdom teeth or the growth of a child’s jaw and teeth, which can assist determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary. The TMJ (temperomandibular joint) or CMA (crano-mandibular articulation) is routinely evaluated in those who grind their teeth.

The  advantages of  an OPGs is:

  • It provides an in-depth examination of the face bones and teeth, with special emphasis on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
  • The patient receives a minimal dose of radiation.
  • The patient’s teeth are  inspected with ease.
  • Some patients have restrictions in their capacity to open their mouths – this makes it easier
  • It doesn’t take long to take the image
  • It is useful for both educating patients and presenting cases.

The radiographer or dentist will ask you to remove any jewellery or metallic items from around your head and neck in order to obtain a clear x-ray image. The actual image is captured in only 20 seconds of the three-minute OPG process.

 

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Simple Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay

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Simple Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems people face. Why is this happening and how can we avoid it ? Here are some recommendations to follow.

First and foremost, maintain a healthy diet.

Sugary foods and drinks have long been associated with tooth decay. Many harmless bacteria live in our mouths, but some of these bacteria that need sugar for energy can be damaging to our teeth.

Sugary drinks that should be avoided include soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, cordials, and fruit drinks.

Lollies, particularly those that remain a long period in your mouth, should also be restricted.

Even if you can’t completely remove sugar from your diet, you can still practise certain healthy habits when you do indulge in sugary foods. Try to eat them when your mouth is moist with saliva. Saliva, which also controls the growth of microbes, washes sugars and acids out of the mouth. Also try  rinsing  your mouth with water or plain milk after consuming sugar.

Foods and beverages that are good for your teeth.

  • To encourage saliva production, include celery, carrots, and other crisp vegetables in your diet.
  • Calcium included in unsweetened dairy products like cheese and milk also help to prevent cavities.
  • Tea or coffee with milk are also good options for a tooth-friendly beverage, but water is the best option.

Brush your teeth on a regular basis with fluoride toothpaste.

A lack of brushing and flossing for an extended length of time may worsen the microorganisms that cause tooth decay. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps to keep microorganisms at bay. Keep in mind that fluoride can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth, so use a fluoride toothpaste and brush all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly. Brush your gums as well as your teeth for at least two minutes each time you clean your teeth.

Check with Dr Nick at your next Gold Coast Smiles appointment to see if you are brushing properly.

It is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis to keep your teeth healthy, so why not make an appointment now.

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Why does your Dentist take X-rays

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Why does your Dentist take X-rays

Dental X-rays allow your dentist to see what’s going on beneath the surface of your teeth and gums that you can’t see with your own eyes. X-rays allow your dentist to examine the health of your mouth in great detail.

Tooth decay is notorious for being evasive, as it does not often present visibly until much later. X-rays are essential for identifying dental problems since they can indicate to your dentist whether or not you have tooth decay or other problems such as an infection at the tooth’s root or bone loss. Early detection allows your dentist to fix the problem before it worsens.

Whether you’re a toddler or an adult, you can have X-rays of the inside and outside of your mouth taken safely. In terms of low-level exposure, the radiation dose is comparable to that of a 1-2 hour flight. This means that even if you’re pregnant, you can still have X-rays, though they will still be limited.

You know how your dentist walks out of the room while the X-rays are being taken? They take a lot of X-rays all day, so simply leaving the room minimises their radiation exposure.

Why are X-rays required?

The conditions being investigated by your dentist will dictate which X-rays are used. If you opt to have an X-ray, the type of X-ray you obtain will be determined by your oral health history, inspection of your mouth, age, disease risk, and any early oral disease indicators.

What can dental X-rays reveal about your dental health?

  • Unnoticeable degradation in the spaces between the teeth, as well as existing fillings, canals, crowns, or bridges that should be fixed
  • The presence or absence of gum disease, as well as the severity of the condition
  • Other infections, such as an abscesse
  • Tooth development issues, such as crooked or extra teeth, etc.
  • Cysts and certain forms of tumours
  • Dental and bone fractures, caused by traumatic injuries
  • Teeth proximity to nerves and sinuses
  • The emergence of wisdom teeth and if they should be extracted

If an X-ray indicates decay, the dentist will discuss treatment options with you. These may include preventive treatments to slow or stop the spread of decay, as well as a filling if there is a cavity.

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Lifestyle Choices Influence your Dental Health

healthy lifetyle and dental health

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Lifestyle Choices Influence your Dental Health

Do lifestyle choices influence dental health?

Your beliefs on living a healthy lifestyle may be similar to those held by the majority of people, who feel that living a healthy lifestyle begins with eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and engaging in regular physical activity is the only way to achieve it.

When it comes to overall health and fitness, both of these factors are important. However, the truth is that your dental health, namely the state of your teeth and gums, has a huge impact on your fitness and well-being.

Among other things, gum disease has been linked to everything from pneumonia to atherosclerosis to exacerbated diabetes symptoms, just to name a few examples.

Good dental health practices

As a result, brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and going to the dentist on a regular basis are all essential to good oral health.

 

How lifestyle choices influence your dental health

Of course, this does not mark the conclusion of the story. Stress, smoking, drinking, using prescribed and non-prescribed medications, using illegal drugs, having your tongue and lip pierced, and other factors can all have a negative impact on the health of your teeth and gums, and thus on your general health.

No matter how much you take care of your body, it will have an affect on your dental health at some time, and that impact will eventually extend to your whole health.

At Gold Coast Smiles, we are committed to maintaining your oral health for the rest of your life. Maintaining a relationship with the same dentist ensures that they are familiar with your medical history and are able to provide advise on appropriate dental hygiene habits.

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October is Digital Smile Month

Ocotober - Digital Smile Month

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October is Digital Smile Month

October is Digital Smile Month at Gold Coast Smiles

We know you’ve heard about Invisalign, a braces-free alternative, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. So, for the month of October, we’re offering free consultations as well as the chance to see what your smile would look like after using Invisalign. There is no obligation to proceed with Invisalign after the consultation, but we are confident that you will be blown away by the results.

What is Invisalign?  

Invisalign is a new wire braces alternative that can be used by both teens and adults.

The Invisalign System is a virtually invisible and hygienic orthodontic treatment that employs a new approach to effectively straighten teeth. This system employs a series of removable aligners that are custom-made for you and only you.

These aligners are made of a nearly invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth to gradually move them to the proper position. Most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them, allowing you to continue living your life while undergoing treatment.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

Invisalign aligners, like other teeth straightening methods, are an effective way to straighten teeth. This treatment also has a number of other distinct advantages:

Virtually invisible: These aligners are a clear alternative to braces, providing you with a virtually invisible treatment option that allows you to maintain your confidence, beautiful smile, and lifestyle while in treatment.
More relaxing: They are gentle on your gums and the inside of your mouth, with no metal brackets to irritate them.
Maintain oral hygiene: Because they are removable, they make it easier to clean your teeth and keep your oral health in check during treatment.
Fewer dentist visits: This treatment typically necessitates fewer dentist visits than other types of braces.
Visualise the progressive movement: It enables you to visualise each stage of the treatment process, from start to finish.

Schedule an appointment in October to see if Invisalign is a viable option for you.

 

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Teeth Whitening Ready for Summer

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Teeth Whitening Ready for Summer

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

A lot of people are opting for teeth whitening to gain more confidence and improve their quality of life. How teeth whitening actually works is often a bit of a mystery so we want to explain exactly how it works so you can make an informed decision and decide if this is something for you.

How does teeth whitening work?  

There are many options available for teeth whitening including natural diet-based remedies, professional services provided by your dentist or dental professional and even take-home tooth whitening kits you can use yourself.

Most teeth whitening procedures use a special whitening gel. Basically, the gel breaks down the molecular bonds that hold together the stains on your teeth. Your mouth and gums are protected with a special covering which your dentist will apply.

Most at-home kits function the same way, with a safe-to-use product to break down the bonds of the stains on your teeth.

Is teeth whitening safe?  

Your dentist will always keep you safe while helping you achieve your dental goals. Any certified procedure or take-home kit that is customised just for you is designed to keep you safe while whitening your teeth.

How long does teeth whitening last?

How long teeth whitening lasts is dependent on several factors including: how you go about whitening your teeth, how much stain-heavy food and drink you consume after whitening your teeth, and how well you take care of your overall oral hygiene.

Whitening provided by your dentist is generally the most long lasting and can last between 12 and 24 months. The effects of treatment provided in the dentist chair are immediate and you should notice whiter teeth as soon the whitening is completed. This look can fade over time and stains may develop again. 

Regular teeth brushing with a special whitening toothbrush and whitening toothpaste can help maintain the effects of a teeth whitening procedure.

Any stain-heavy food and drink will limit the long-term benefits of a teeth whitening procedure. Tea, coffee, red wine, lollies and colour-heavy food all have the potential to stain your teeth and should be avoided.

How much does teeth whitening cost?  

The cost of teeth whitening can vary between dental professionals and the service you require. 

A professional procedure by your dentist or dental professional may be the costliest, but it will also be the safest and most effective. This is followed by a dentist-provided take-home whitening kit.

It’s a good idea to speak to us here at Gold Coast Smiles or any dental professional before starting any teeth whitening procedure. We will be able to help you find the best way forward for your teeth and your budget.

(information sourced from Phillips Oral Healthcare)

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New Staff Members Join the Gold Coast Smiles team

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New Staff Members Join the Gold Coast Smiles team

Welcome our new Dental Therapist – Natasha Retallick

Natasha Retallick graduated from the University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Oral Health. Since graduating Natasha has practiced in the public and private sectors on the Gold Coast and rural outback Queensland. Natasha has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Melbourne, giving her full adult restorative scope as well.

As a clinician, Natasha is meticulous with her attention to detail. Not only does she strive to deliver the highest quality in patient care, but she also shows patients genuine care and empathy. In particular, Natasha is passionate about children’s dentistry and the prevention of periodontal disease.

Outside of work Natasha has a 3 year old fur-baby named Milo and likes gardening with succulents.

Welcome our new Dental Nurse – Belinda Kristalyn

Belinda joins Gold Coast Smiles with excellent experience and nowldge in dentistry.  She has a keen interest in the Invisalign process and is happily undergoing treatment herself at present so can share her own experiences.  

Belinda has lived and worked on the Gold Coast for most of her life enjoying the beach, spending time with her family and going to the gym.

 

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What age should a child first visit a dentist?

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What age should a child first visit a dentist?

The sooner children begin regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives. Early dentist visits help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which may lead to pain, trouble concentrating or other medical issues. Young children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence.

It is important to establish good oral hygiene from a young age and here at Gold Coast Smiles, we are here to help make this happen with your child.

Dr Nick has been looking after the dental hygiene of young children for a long time, with four of his own children, so understands the fears some children may experience. He makes sure visiting the dentist is a fun experience where children feel comfortable and at ease with his easy-going, friendly nature. Establishing good dental hygiene practices when you are young, makes a huge difference to future dental health.

A common question amongst parents is “When should my child visit a dentist for the first time?”. There are no hard and fast rules, but the first visit should occur as young as two years old. This way your child can acquaint themselves with the dental environment, their dentist, other staff at the practice, the dental chair, and some of the instruments a dentist may use. This is a great time to talk to a child about good dental hygiene at home as well and start those lifelong practices of looking after their teeth.

After that first visit, your child should visit the dentist at least twice a year.  We can monitor their teeth and be proactive in their care. There is no use waiting until a problem has occurred. Often issues can be prevented before they happen.

There are common issues which may occur in young children, including tooth decay, cavities, damage caused by knocks, thumb sucking, bad breath, gum disease and teeth grinding. We are here to minimise any of these problems and prevent them from becoming an adult problem as well.

The importance of good dental hygiene at home

Good oral hygiene is so important for children to help prevent future dental issues, such as cavities, infection, pain and overcrowding due to tooth loss. To help you establish good oral hygiene and care with your child, they need a great dental routine at home. At Gold Coast Smiles, we can help your child start the journey to good oral health.

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Are sports drinks bad for dental health?

sports drinks

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Are sports drinks bad for dental health?

Unfortunately sports drinks are full of sugar and acids which over time can cause tooth erosion and decay. Marketers have been very clever in their promotion of sports drinks as a way to improve sports performance. Unfortunately, unless you are an elite athlete there is little benefit. Sports drinks like anything can be consumed in moderation, but there are more affective ways to stay hydrated.

The best way to stay hydrated after sweating it out in the gym or on the sports field is still…….water. Water is free straight out of the tap, and deals with dehydration in no time at all. And in Australia, our water also contains fluoride which has been proven to protect teeth and reduce decay.

One quick way of seeing what is contained in sports drinks and softdrinks is to have a quick read of the label. 

Labels will often not use the words ‘sugar’ or ‘acid’ so it is important to look for alternatives like the following. For instance, sugar may be honey, rice syrup or even organic dehydrated cane juice. For acidity look for citric acid (a flavor enhancer) or “sodium benzoate” (a preserving agent). As a general rule if an ingredient ends in an “ate”, it’s an acidic preservative of some kind.

These simple things to look for will help determine foods and drinks which are good for the health of your teeth and gums and will help you stay at the top of your sporting game.

If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to ask Dr Nick next time you are have your dental check up. 

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Oral health is important when keeping Fit & Healthy

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Oral health is important when keeping Fit & Healthy

Did you know that oral health has a mjor impact on our overall health? We often think about staying healthy as eating well and exercising to keep fit but we need to throw in oral health for overall wellbeing.

Gum diease has been linked to pneumonia, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and exacerbated diabetes symptoms. This is why maintaining a good dental routine of brushing twice a day, flossing and seeing your dentist on a regular basis is important.

Unfortunately some lifestyle choices may affect the health of your teeth including smoking, some medications, drug use, tongue and lip piercing and stress.

To maintain good overall health, it is important to look after your oral health.

At Gold Coast Smiles we make a plan for your oral health for life. We like to see all patiemts at least once every 6 months so we stay on top of your oral health neeeds and keep you motivated to maintain good detal hygiene. We look forward to welcoming you into the Gold Coast Smiles family.

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Why teaching kids good oral health is important

preventing decay

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Why teaching kids good oral health is important

When it comes to teaching kids good oral health routines, the earlier, the better is the rule. You can start right from when your child gets their first teeth. Begin by using a small toothbrush to get around into the mouth. This can be practiced both morning and night which helps to create good habits at a young age to carry though as they get older.

It is important for children to visit a dentist by the age of four or five years. But of course they are welcome to visit earlier to get them used to the dentist and for them to feel comfortable knowing it is not a scarey place.

It is important not to threaten kids with a visit to the dentist if they don’t brush their teeth properly. This creates an impression that seeing the dentist is a negative thing and is some kind of punishment.

By making oral hygiene fun this will definitely help in creating lifelong good practices. Instilling a good oral hygiene routine at a young age should last them the rest of their life. It then becomes a normal part of their day-day-to-day routine.

We look forward to welcoming the young members of your family to Gold Coast Smiles.

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What is Invisalign?

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What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is an alternative to wire braces and can be used by both teens and adults.

The Invisalign System is a virtually invisible and hygienic orthodontic treatment that uses an innovative approach to effectively straighten teeth. This system uses a series of custom-made removable aligners created for you and only you.

These aligners are made of a virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth to gradually move them to the ideal position. Most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them, allowing you to keep your lifestyle during treatment.

It is available through Invisalign-trained doctors who determine the treatment plan. 

Contact Gold Coast Smiles for your treatment plan.

Invisalign is the future of beautiful teeth. No longer do you need to put up with the discomfort or look of metal braces. With Invisalign you can enjoy the smile you have always wanted.

We offer a free consultation, so you feel comfortable with the process and you can make an informed decision whether Invisalign is right for you.

We also offer various payment options, so you feel comfortable you can complete the treatment without feeling any financial burdens.

Talk to us today.

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Keeping a Healthy Smile

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Keeping a Healthy Smile

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile. It is important to become a regular dental attender to ensure you maintain optimal dental health. Visiting the dentist at least every 6 months will ensure you maintain a healthy mouth.

During these routine visits a dentist may:

  • provide a general dental check up
  • carry out scaling and fluoride treatment
  • conduct diagnostic x-rays to check the roots and in-between teeth for decay or abnormality
  • check soft tissue
  • check jaw joints
  • check health of gums

A common dental treatment is the use of fillings. Fillings replace missing tooth structure due to decay or breakage of the tooth. At Gold Coast Smiles we use composite (white fillings) which gives a hard-wearing, durable and pleasantly aesthetic appearance. Being tooth coloured these fillings are matched to the existing enamel and can barely be seen in the mouth. They provide the perfect bond to enamel and are easily repaired if chipped or broken.

Don’t wait until you are in pain or have extensive damage. Visit a dentist and they will provide a complete plan for long life optimal dental health.

Dr Nick and his team at Gold Coast Smiles understand how busy people can be and offer out-of-hours consultations as well to give you that flexibility with visits.

Having a dentist, you can trust to deliver modern, pain-free dentistry, who you feel comfortable with and who genuinely cares about you and your family is what Gold Coast Smiles guarantees. You will find once you have this level of confidence, 6-monthly visits will become routine.

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