All the news from Riverside Dental Spa – the Central Coast’s favourite dental practice.

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Advanced techniques for cleaning teeth, introducing the EMS Air flow.

Advances in technology today are inevitable and here at Riverside Dental Spa we are always striving to provide the most up to date techniques while looking at ways to make your dental visit as enjoyable as it can be. Our Hygienist are very excited to have this new technology available for our patients… So whats all the fuss about? Well, we have purchased the latest device on the market, which is the most effective and comfortable way to have your teeth cleaned and uses the most up to date technology. This new product is known as an Air-flow cleaning device and it combines air, powder and water to effectively and efficiently remove soft plaque and bacteria from your teeth.

How does this differ from the traditional way that we clean teeth?

Traditionally we use an ultrasonic tip (the vibrating tool) that breaks away the hard deposits on the teeth and then follow with what we call a prophylaxis. The prophylaxis procedure involves the use of a polishing cup and paste to remove soft plaque and light stains from the teeth. This is often quite messy, time consuming and leaves you with the feeling that you have sand in your mouth following the hygiene visit.

What to expect from this new technique

When using the Air-flow device, firstly your Hygienist will place a coloured dye on the teeth that shows where the plaque and biofilm resides in the mouth – biofilm being the main cause of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. This is a great educational tool to show you areas that you may need to spend a little bit more time with on a daily basis or areas that are little hard to reach, our hygienist will then give you a few tips or tricks in getting to those areas.

The device uses air, water and powder to remove these deposits from the teeth and as the hygienist is using the Airflow tip you might feel a light sensation from these elements. Another great benefit of this device is that it works amazingly well at removing those stubborn stains that you may have from drinking a lot of tea or coffee.

Unfortunately, the Air-flow tip does not take away the need for Hygienists to use the ultrasonic (the vibrating tool) to remove the hard calculus deposits from the teeth. With that in mind generally speaking, it does help minimise the amount of time in which the ultrasonic tip is needed, this means that it may not have to be used on every tooth in the mouth, further reducing the time needed to have a thorough clean.

Many of our team members have already fallen in love with this advanced technique during their regular preventative care appointments with our hygienists. Next time you come in to see us here at Riverside Dental Spa be sure to ask our hygienists, dentists and other team members about this new device. You’ll be amazed by how gentle it is and how great your smile looks and feels after just one visit.

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What to expect when seeing a dental hygienist

Here at Riverside Dental Spa we are lucky to have a team that are dedicated to providing quality and exceptional care to our patients. Part of that team are our dental hygienists. Our dental hygienists are university trained and specialise in preventive dentistry, focusing on reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

At each appointment our dental hygienists will throughly assess the health of your gums, this is done in a few different ways.

  • Firstly, they will ask you about any medical issues or changes, this is to ensure your safety and assess any risks to your dental health that can be associated with different medications and/or conditions. There are a number of links between general health and oral health that people are unaware of, if relevant we will discuss this with you.
  • Secondly, the gums will be checked with a specialised measurement instrument. This will allow your dental hygienist to note things such as plaque, calculus, bleeding, recession and pocket depths. This is essential in assessing the health of the gums and usually feels like a slight pressure around the gum surrounding each tooth. If there is any pain or hypersensitivity associated with this part of the exam (due to the gums being inflamed) you have the option to have numbing gel placed on the gum (although this is often not needed).
  • Once these first two steps have been done the dental hygienist may talk through with you any areas of concern and give you some tips and tricks in getting to those hard to reach areas. If it has been sometime since your last dental check up and or if there is a larger amount of plaque and calculus around the teeth, the hygienist may need another appointment to complete cleaning the whole mouth, this is to ensure that you are provided with the best possible treatment.

It is generally recommended that x-rays (radiographs) are taken every two years to ensure that a very thorough clinical examination can be conducted. Without regular radiographs, clinically it is impossible for any Dental Professional to be 100 per cent accurate in diagnostic purposes. Of course, if you are pregnant please ensure you have discussed this information at the beginning of the appointment as we would advise holding off on the radiographs until after the arrival of your little one.

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Top Causes of Bad Breath Including Remedies!

1. Poor Dental Hygiene Habits

A build up of food, plaque and bacteria can be a cause of bad breath. This can not only lead to bad breath but also to dental disease such as gum disease and tooth decay.

The Remedy: Brushing twice daily, after breakfast in the morning and right be before bed in the evening to ensure the mouth is clean for as long as possible throughout the day and night.

Flossing once per day to remove anything from between the teeth, this is best done before brushing.

Mouth rinse is an additional step in your routine that can help reduce the overall amount of bacteria in the mouth, unfortunately this does not physically remove plaque and food so should never be used in place of brushing and flossing.

2. Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontitis) can be a silent condition that leaves people unaware of the problem until the teeth become sore or loose. Bad breath can be a major symptoms of gum disease due to the build up of plaque and bacteria and the inflammatory effect it has on the gums.

The Remedy: If you experience bleeding when brushing or flossing that does not resolve within 2 weeks of daily flossing and twice daily brushing, then book an appointment with your dental professional to assess possible issues and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications and because salvia works to buffer the mouth or wash away odour producing bacteria and particles, this can then lead to bad breath.

If you are otherwise well hydrated and you are not taking medications but still experiencing a dry mouth often, stress and anxiety may be a reason behind having a dry mouth.

The Remedy: Drinking water helps to wash away bacteria and lubricate the mouth, saliva stimulates and substitutes are also available to help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and help reduce any bad breath issues. Sugar free gum and mints can help to stimulate saliva and aid in freshening breath. Try to avoid foods containing sugar especially mints and lollies.

4. Medical/ Health Conditions

Digestive issues – Acid reflux from the stomach to the oesophagus can be a cause of bad breath, this can be evident on the teeth themselves and is often described by dental professionals as acid wear or erosion

The Remedy: Ask your dental professional for signs of wear if you are concerned this may be an issues. Seeking relief by seeing your GP or trying a change in diet can help reduce acid reflux.

Respiratory tracts issues/infections – Respiratory tract infection can cause bad breath, this is due to nasal or sinus secretions passing into the throat and mouth.

The Remedy: If bad breath is consistent and other common causes have been ruled out or if you have other symptoms or respiratory issues please seek professional advice from your GP or a referral may be required for an ears, nose, throat specialist.

Smoking – Smoke particles can dry the mouth and allow for bacteria to increase more rapidly. Smokers are at a much higher risk of gum disease or periodontitis as nicotine reduces the blood supply to the gums, therefore decreasing your body’s defence against bacteria.

The Remedy: Quitting is the quickest and best way to reduce the risk associated with smoking and help resolve the symptoms of bad breath. in the short term, keeping the mouth very clean and free from particles such as bacteria, plaque and food will help to reduce odour.

5. Food

Foods and Spices – Garlic, onion and spices can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and may linger on your breath for up to 24 hours until the body has processed it.

The Remedy: If you notice that after eating a particular spice or meal that the smell lingers on your breath for a noticeable amount of time afterwards, then we would suggest steering clear of these foods on date night or the day before any event where you could be worried about having bad breath.

Dieting – Low-carb diets can be a cause of bad breath. This is due to the body producing a chemical called ketones, which happens when your body goes into a “fat-burning” state, also known as ketosis.

The Remedy: The good news is that this symptom is usually temporary and eating even as little as 50-70 grams of carbohydrates per day will bring the body out of ketosis and should help resolve any associated bad breath. If there is no difference within a few weeks, there may be another underlying issue in which you should seek professional medical advice.