Family Dental Care Close to the Heart of Melbourne
Eating and snacking patterns in babies, toddlers, teens and adults play a very large part in dental health. By choosing to consume healthier choices of food and drinks you can improve your oral health for life.
What Snacks Are Best for My Family’s Dental Health?
- Acidic foods and drinks can ‘erode’ enamel from teeth if consumed too frequently or sipped for a long period of time and held in the mouth. Acidic drinks include soft drinks (diet and regular), wine, cordials, fruit juices, fruit drinks and sports drinks. Acidity can also be a problem with some foods that are considered ‘healthy’, such as citrus fruits or salad dressings made of vinegar, if such foods are consumed too frequently.
- Saliva is the body’s natural defence against tooth decay – constantly washing away acids and replenishing minerals in teeth. Give saliva time to work by limiting the number of times you eat each day. A good general rule is to limit eating times to 5 each day – 3 meals and 2 snacks.
- ‘Tooth friendly’ snack choices such as nuts, unsalted popcorn, cheese, fruits and vegetables are to be encouraged over less healthy snacks of the sugary, sticky type, such as lollies or muesli bars. Keep healthy snack choices ready and visible to ‘grab on the go’.
- You do not need to eliminate ALL the foods and drinks that can have a bad effect on teeth. If tooth decay or erosion of enamel is a problem for you, even small changes that substitute some more ‘tooth friendly’ choices each day can help.
- Drinking lots of water can be a healthy, practical and money saving alternative to sugary or acidic drinks. Be aware that not all bottled water has fluoride in it. Drinking bottled water exclusively may not give you the daily fluoride protection you need.
- Bad breath can have many causes such as smoking, gum disease, foods and drinks or gastric reflux.
- Thorough dental care by daily cleaning, including brushing the tongue, is the best defence against bad breath. Do not use sugary mints or sugary gum to freshen your breath as these can cause decay if used frequently. On occasion when you do not have time to brush, use sugarless gum or mouthrinse. If bad breath persists, a dental professional can help you identify the cause and find solutions. Remember, rinses and gum is not a substitute for daily brushing and flossing!
Dental Care – Tongue and Lip Piercing
- There are risks of infection with any body piercing procedures. Individuals should ensure that instruments to be used have been properly sterilised beforehand to avoid the risk of Hepatitis B and C, tetanus or HIV. Barbells in the tongue can chip or break teeth. Gums can also be damaged if a piercing rubs against the gum. This is of particular concern with lip (la bret) piercing.
- Watch the size and position of barbells in the tongue so teeth will not be damaged. You should also be aware of the position of la bret piercings to ensure they do not rub against the gum and NEVER sleep with piercings in.