Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs.  How do they affect oral health?

Tobacco can damage the gum tissues causing inflammation and periodontal disease (gum disease). Use of tobacco, ecstasy, amphetamines, and methamphetamines can also lead to tooth loss by constricting the small capillaries in the gums, affecting how the bone attaches to the soft tissue of teeth.

The use of alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, amphetamines, methamphetamines, heroin and replacement therapies such as methadone limit saliva production causing dry mouth, the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and erosion.

Ecstasy raises body temperature, which can lead to an increase in the consumption of sugary drinks. Most alcoholic drinks are very sugary and acidic. Frequent consumption of these drinks will demineralise and weaken tooth enamel, which is the first step in tooth decay.

Tooth grinding and jaw clenching can occur with ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine use. Tooth grinding is known as bruxism and can lead to extreme wear, especially when combined with dry mouth. It can cause cracked and broken teeth and nerve damage.

Smoking cigarettes contributes to bad breath, the buildup of tartar on teeth and the staining of teeth, tongue and gums. Staining may appear yellow or black.

Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use can result in neglected oral hygiene self-care

Tobacco contains carcinogens, and is a major risk factor associated with oral cancer. Excessive consumption of alcohol significantly raises the risk of oral cancer, and when combined with smoking tobacco this risk is increased even more dramatically. Like tobacco, smoking marijuana also increases the risk of developing oral cancer.

Holiday Hours

Closed 1pm 23rd December to to 9am 4th January.

 

For emergency dental advice, Contact Mike on 0274804220

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Melanies Dental Hygiene Tips!

fullsizerender-1Hi my names Melanie Mitchell, I am a hygienist and dental therapist working at Waiheke Dental Centre in Ostend. I am passionate about oral health education for all and believe that consistent preventative oral care can help you keep your teeth for life and facilitate good overall health.

Much preventative oral health care can be done at home at little cost…add to that routine dental hygiene and check-ups and you have a strategy that will save you money & help you prevent decay, gum disease and help facilitate good over-all health. In this monthly column I will be addressing all sorts of different oral health topics.

This week we will start with some basics:

Here are some strategies to keep a healthy mouth for a life time.

1. Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, morning and before bed using either an electric toothbrush or a soft manual brush. research suggests that an electric toothbrush removes more plaque then a manual when used correctly.

2. Daily flossing before brushing – this helps remove bacterial plaque from between the teeth. if you hate flossing with tape, try inter-dental brushes, water flosses or floss on handles.

3. If using a mouth rinse, use an alcohol free one, as alcohol based rinses dry out your mouth. salt water rinses help keep your gums clean & healthy.

4. Stay away from sugary foods and drinks. when we eat or drink these sugars it mixes with bacteria in plaque and forms an acid. The acid attack begins the caries/decay process. however if you do drink the fizzy/juice use a straw. if you do eat sweet things brush your teeth directly after.

5. Avoid smoking. smoking and gum disease is linked.

6. Try brushing your teeth with baking soda once a week. it helps to keep your teeth white and alkalizes your mouth.

7. Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper daily. one cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue.

8. A diet full of vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetable helps keep your mouth healthy.

9. Have routine dental examinations and hygiene treatments. Preventative care is the way to go…both for your health & your pocket!

Hygiene poster General Hygiene

mel-poster

Did You Know: Gum Disease Is Linked To OTHER Diseases

Let’s not jump into any scary overwhelming research, instead let’s re-jog the memory; Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) begins as gingivitis which is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is often caused by poor oral hygiene and is most likely reversible with professional treatment and taking steps to look after your mouth.

 What diseases have been linked to Gum Disease?

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Premature births or low-birth weight babies

What causes Gum Disease?

The short answer is bacteria. These bacteria combined with mucus and other particles are continually form a colourless “plaque” on your teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day helps to keep the plaque under control and with it the likelihood of gum disease. Plaque if not removed forms “tartar” which cannot be cleaned by simply brushing and flossing. Professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can however remove the tartar but it is best not to reach this stage!

 What are the symptoms of Gum Disease?

  • tender or bleeding gums (first sign of gum disease setting in!)
  • getting longer in tooth sign of bone loss (advanced stages of Gum disease)
  • Regular bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist.

The problem with Gum disease is it is generally painless and is easy to go unnoticed! The good news is gum disease is easily treated and kept under control through regular visits to see the dental hygienist.

Below we can see the progression of damage caused by gum disease:

gum disease

 

How is Gum Disease treated?

The objective of treatment is to control the infection. The number and type of treatment will vary, depending on how advanced the gum disease has become. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviours, such as quitting smoking, as a way to better improve the outcome of treatment.

 

How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste).
  • As an alternative to flossing you can use interdental brushes to get into those small gaps between teeth
  • Visit a hygienist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning (6 month check and a 12 month active maintenance)
  • Don’t smoke (as hard as it is, it does improve the likelihood of not getting gum disease)

DENTISTRY IS EXPENSIVE! Well, it can get that way…

The patient asks, “How much to pull this tooth out?”

The dentist answers, “$300.”

Surprised, the patient asks, “$300 for just a few minutes work?”

The dentist replies, “Well, I can extract it very slowly if you’d like?”

 

Dental jokes aside, we get a lot of comments on how costly dentistry is in New Zealand. In order to avoid expensive dental treatments and emergencies, you need a strategy. That strategy is all about prevention, taking responsibility and taking great care of your teeth and gums. After all, the longer you leave an issue, the harder it is to solve.

 

There are some inexpensive ways to promote healthy teeth and gums, which we have listed below:

 

1) Rinse using warm salt water – This helps keep your gums healthy.

2) Brush once a week with baking soda – This helps keep your teeth white and alkalizes your mouth; when you have an acidic environment in your mouth, the acidity is likely to damage your teeth.

3) Use an electric toothbrush – They take up to 60% more plaque off than a manual toothbrush. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time.

4) Floss every day – Do this before brushing, so that your toothbrush can get into crevices that may have been blocked before!

5) Stay away from sugar and fizzy drinks – Drink water, it is much better for you and is especially easy to drink during summer! If you eat sugar, brush and rinse right after.

6) Don’t smoke – We understand this may be easier said than done, but it will positively impact your oral health!

Now, about the professional care…
  • Get all the active decay treated by your dentist. See your hygienist and get all the plaque cleaned off your teeth.
  • Then, start on a preventative care plan.
  • once a year see Melanie for a hygiene treatment to keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy. This takes 30 minutes and costs $120.00.
  • Once a year see Dr. Mike and Melanie in an Active Maintenance appointment. This clean and exam is to check for any new decay or issues. This takes one hour and costs $160.

Once you’re on this annual cycle, dental expenses become a lot easier to manage. Get any issues sorted before they get bigger or turn into an emergency!

 

Mike did Movember!

Every November our attention is drawn to the efforts of New Zealanders growing a moustache in support of Movember, a challenge led by the global charity: The Movember Foundation.

Year-round this charity invests strategically in four key areas that have an impact on men’s health; Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Poor Mental Health, and Physical Inactivity.

If you participated in or donated to Movember 2015 then give yourself a pat on the back! But remember – efforts are made every day to research and improve men’s health on a global scale, which we should all be engaged with.

If you would like to learn more about The Movember Foundation, their values and their strategic objectives, visit their website and have a look around!

 

IMG_1170

Mike decided to opt for the horseshoe style of moustache!

What does Myofunctional technology look like?

About a month ago we posted some information on what Myofunctional Research Co. technology is.

We thought it might be nice for you to see what Myobraces look like, so here’s a couple of pictures of the pink and blue Myobraces, pretty cool for kids huh!

Myobraces Collage

10 things we should all know about sugary drinks – From NZDA

  1. What are sugary drinks? 
    Beverages with added sugars, such as carbonated (fizzy) soft drinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters, fruit drinks and cordials, sports drinks, fruit juices and flavoured milks and breakfast drinks.
  2. How much sugar do they really have?
    On average, a 600ml bottle of fizzy contains more than 16 teaspoons of sugar. This is over 5 times the recommended daily intake of sugar for a child. The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum daily sugar intake of 3 teaspoons for children and six for adults.
  3. Do sugary drinks harm children’s teeth?
    Sugary drinks contain large amounts of sugar which dramatically increases the risk of tooth decay. All sugary drinks, including sugar-free or “diet” versions contain acids that irreversibly damages teeth through the erosion of tooth enamel.
  4. Is it okay to drink fruit juice? 
    Even unsweetened natural juices contain sugars and acids, so if you are thirsty, it’s better to drink water. The main problem with fruit juice is that it contains no fibre and is very high in sugar. It’s best to eat your fruit.
  5. What about sports drinks and energy drinks?
    Energy drinks and sports drinks contain as much sugar as fizzy drinks. The Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Agency state that energy drinks should not be consumed by children or adolescents and routine consumption of sports drinks should be avoided.
  6. Are diet drinks okay?
    Although diet beverages contain no calories, they have a high acid content which harms teeth. They have the potential to displace water and milk which are the best drink choice for children. They also maintain a desire for sweet food and drinks.
  7. What are the other health effects of drinking too many sugary drinks?
    The consumption of sugary drinks has been linked to obesity, type two diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. For children and youth, an increase of one serving of sugary drinks per day increases the odds of being obese by 60%. One can a day leads to a 25% greater risk of developing type two diabetes compared with people who rarely consume such drinks.
  8. Is obesity really a problem in New Zealand? 
    Ministry of Health figures show that one in three children (2- 14 years) is either overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation has long identified major links between childhood obesity and chronic diseases in adulthood.
  9. Why single out sugary drinks? 
    Sugary drinks are different from food in that they are consumed in massive quantities, have no nutritional value, and are clearly linked to obesity and type two diabetes. Additionally, unlike other foods with sugar, sugary drinks don’t make us feel full. Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugar in the New Zealand diet.
  10. What are the best drinks? 
    Water is the best drink. For children of all ages, water and milk are the best choices. As well as having zero calories, water is a no-sugar thirst-quencher. Milk contains calcium, and contributes to a child’s daily calcium intake.

Braces on Waiheke – Part 2

In this article we’ll look at Myofunctional Research Co. treatment

Myofunctional Research Co. technology is designed to treat developing teeth & jaw crowding problems in children.

Their Trainer and Myobrace Systems are a no-braces approach to straightening your child’s teeth and jaws. (Did you know, three out of four children have crowded teeth and incorrectly developing jaws. These problems can be seen from as early as 5 years of age!)

Treatment uses myofunctional orthodontic techniques to address the poor oral habits (known as myofunctional habits) that are the real, underlying causes of crooked teeth and uses light, intermittent forces to align the teeth. Myofunctional orthodontic techniques have been practiced by Orthodontists and Dentists around the world for over 50 years.

This is done through the use of a series of removable dental appliances that are worn for just 1-2 hours each day and overnight while sleeping. Daily use of the Myobrace combined with regular activities (to improve breathing, muscle function and tongue posture) results in straighter teeth and improved function, leading to optimal facial development and a healthier smile. In a lot of cases better and faster results are achieved with the short term use of a cemented wire device to improve the jaw shape.

With the cases already treated we have great results!

More information can be found at these web addresses:  https://fastbraces.com & http://www.myofunctionalresearch.com

If you are interested in Fastbraces® or Myofunctional Research treatment, the first step to a great smile is to meet one-on-one with Dr. Michael Stevens to determine if you are a candidate for either of the systems. Dr. Michael Stevens then does a free exam of your mouth and smile. If you want to proceed, the next step, is impressions and x-rays to help Dr. Michael Stevens create a customised treatment plan designed specifically for your smile.

Phone 372-7422 to book in

Braces on Waiheke – Part 1

We offer orthodontic services using both Fastbraces® Technology and Myofunctional Research Co® technologies.

In this article we’ll look at Fastbraces.

Fastbraces is great for sorting out front teeth that are out-of-line, twisted or tilted. It is suitable for both adults and adolescents. It is able to be used for a number of orthodontic issues you just need a brief free consultation to discover if it is right for you. Fastbraces® were developed to straighten teeth differently. Fastbraces® does this using a revolutionary system of fast, safe, easy and affordable braces that is changing the field of orthodontics.

Traditional braces move teeth into position in two stages, usually over a period of about two years. In the first year, the crown of the tooth is moved into alignment. In the second year, treatment addresses the position of the root of the tooth.

The brackets used with Fastbraces® work on a different mechanical principle altogether.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 6.21.05 pm

The patented innovative system corrects and realigns the root and crown simultaneously. Fastbraces® Technology gently allows for movement of the roots of the teeth towards their final position from the onset of treatment thus completing treatment from 3 months to about a year. Some patients see results in just weeks! Fastbraces® is more affordable as in most cases, treatment typically takes just a few visits at the dentist’s office. Less visits mean less money spent, less petrol used getting to and from the dentist’s office and less time off school or work!

With the cases already underway we are getting great results!

More information can be found at these web addresses: https://fastbraces.com & http://www.myofunctionalresearch.com

If you are interested in Fastbraces® or Myofunctional Research treatment, the first step to a great smile is to meet one-on-one with Dr. Michael Stevens to determine if you are a candidate for either of the systems. Dr. Michael Stevens then does a free exam of your mouth and smile. The next step, is impressions and x-rays to help Dr. Michael Stevens create a customised treatment plan designed specifically for your smile.

Phone (09) 372 7422 to book in!