Tag: teeth

Will Braces Break the Bank?

Sunbird Orthodontics

Dear Dr Bobby, Will braces break the bank?

There is no doubt that a course of orthodontic braces is a significant financial investment.  However, the benefits of a fantastic smile and a healthy mouth can be life changing – it really is the gift that keeps on giving! 

Because orthodontic braces are such a big investment, it is all the more important that you see a specialist trained Orthodontist to get maximum value for your investment.

Most Orthodontic practices offer multiple ways to fit within your financial budget, including payment plans to spread the cost over months or even years if necessary.  Health funds also contribute to the cost of orthodontic treatment, either as a one-off lump sum, or spread over a few years. This can be claimed through HICAPS, and is a very simple process in most Orthodontic practices.

While it’s tempting to shop around on price, it is much more important to find an orthodontic practice you can trust. In the end, the great experience you have with the Orthodontic practice you choose will be worth way more than the few dollars you save.

Call Sunbird Orthodontics on 4038 1036




Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth – 1300SMILES Explains

STORY Leah Smith Oral Health Therapist 1300SMILES Mackay

Life is busy for parents. At times we skip some important health routines because we are tired and looking for the ‘quick fix’ options. The issue with this surrounding dental health is that skipping our daily oral hygiene routine and choosing ‘on the run’ foods means we are increasing our risk of tooth decay for the whole family.

Baby teeth are important. There is a common misconception that decay in baby teeth doesn’t matter. However, baby teeth do a number of amazing things, and sadly a dental infection in a baby tooth is just as painful as in an adult tooth.

There are easy ways to take care of your child’s teeth. Make sure to brush them every morning after breakfast and just before bed until they are at least 8 years old. Use fluoride toothpaste (from 2 years old) with a soft toothbrush. Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have all of their baby teeth (approx. 2 years of age) and start dental visits from 12 months old. Ensure their diet is low in sugary and acidic foods and drinks. If bottles are used past 12 months of age then they shouldn’t have anything in them during the night except for water.

It’s really important that as your children get older, you are limiting ‘snack foods’ in their daily diet. Sticky cereals, sugary spreads, juice and so much more, have A LOT of hidden sugars and should only be given as a ‘special treat’. Fruit in large quantities daily can damage the enamel on your child’s teeth, so juice should not be given to your child every day. Additionally, always encourage your child to drink water and plain milk as much as possible to keep their teeth strong. Try and set a good example of this too.

Lastly, when doing your groceries, have a look at the nutritional panel on the packaging and aim to keep sugar content under 20%. Or, even better, under 10%. Remember, you control their diet because you do the groceries. Have a good look in your cupboard, fridge and trolley and make healthy choices.

For more hints and tips on your children’s oral health check out www.activelittlesmiles.com. To book your child’s next dental appointment contact 1300 764 537 or online via www.1300smiles.com.au 

Read more PakMag blogs on oral hygiene here. 



Get Sugar Savvy with the Australian Dental Association

Oral care has come a long way, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, research shows that there’s still a lot of room for improvement. There are ads and campaigns everywhere reminding us to brush twice a day, floss as often as we can, and keep the sugar content down. But these don’t seem to be achieving the results that we need. It might come as a shock to know that 53 per cent of adults only brush their teeth once a day. On top of that, 48 per cent of adults are consuming too much sugar – a combination that is wreaking havoc. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australia, and these numbers show us why.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has decided to use Dental Health Week, August 3 – 9, to shine a light on why sugar is so bad for our teeth. The ‘Get Sugar Savvy’ campaign aims to reinforce the importance of brushing, flossing, and taking charge of your oral hygiene by understanding the effects of sugar and trying to consume less of it. Dr Mikaela Chinotti, ADA’s Oral Health Promoter, says,

“We’re urging people to observe three key messages when it comes to sugar: consume no more than 6 teaspoons/24 grams of added sugar a day; choose foods with 5 grams or less per 100 grams of the food it’s in, and look out for hidden sugars in the food and drink you buy.”

“…brush for two minutes every morning and night, floss daily and see your dentist regularly. They can detect oral diseases at their earliest stage and help to prevent them from progressing – prevention is better than a cure.”

Teenagers and Sugar

Sugar – it’s delicious, we know. But Aussie teenagers are consuming over 20 teaspoons of the stuff a day. That’s THREE TIMES the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit. The culprit? Unsurprisingly, sugary beverages. It can be difficult to know just how much sugar you’re actually drinking but that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the labels. Energy drinks, soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, even mixed drinks of alcohol (we’re talking about cans of ready-to-drink mixes) can have shocking amounts of sugar in them. 

One 600ml of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar on average. That’s already over twice the recommended daily sugar amount for adults!

For parents, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what your teen is drinking. We know that as they grow up you begin to provide them with more and more freedom, and if they have a job then they can buy their own food and drinks. But with all that freedom comes the responsibility of taking care of yourself. If they don’t seem to be doing it, you should step in and kindly remind them how important it is to really care about the health of their teeth.

Kids and Sugar

Only half of Australian children aged five to six years have actually visited the dentist before the age of five. One third have had tooth decay by this age already.

Australian Dental Association recommends that your kids have their very first dental visit when the first teeth erupt into the mouth, or by the age of one years old. Leaving a child’s first dental visit until later increases the risk that they will need treatment beyond just a regular check up and clean. Additionally, only milk and water should be put into a feeding bottle, and snacks should be healthy. And of course, try not to give your child many sugary treats, no matter how much they enjoy them.

It’s important to lead by example and make sure your child is brushing their teeth for long enough, often enough. They can then go on to take great care of their teeth as a teenager and adult, preventing infections, decay, and all the negative results neglecting oral hygiene.

Don’t have a regular dentist or one who’s nearby? No problem – the ADA’s Find a Dentist (ada.org.au/findadentist) and Choosing a Dentist (ada.org.au/choosingadentist) make it so easy.

Great ADA Resources for You

Read the Label 

Sugar Maths 

Understanding Sugar 

Here you can gain a better understanding of how to break down a label so it is easy to understand and how natural vs unnatural sugar can affect your teeth.

Hidden Sugars 

Sugar can actually be called over 50 different names, making it harder to notice on food and drink labels. Find out what the common names for sugars and what to look out for on the Hidden Sugars fact sheet.

Sugar vs Teeth 

Having trouble understanding how sugar can result in tooth decay? You can learn more about it on the Sugar and its effects on teeth Fact Sheet.

Read more PakMag Heath Blogs here. 




dental problems in pregnancy

Can Pregnancy Increase Your Risk of Dental Problems?

Dr Fay Callaghan – 1300 Smiles Dentists

Dear Dr Fay, is it true that pregnancy increases your risk of dental problems?

Yes, it certainly is true that pregnancy can increase your risk of dental problems. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque, which can lead to oral health issues such as gum disease and an increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness and eating sugary foods due to cravings can also contribute to these issues. However, being pregnant doesn’t automatically damage your teeth.

If you are pregnant, be sure to continue the regular check-ups with your dentist, and be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant.

1300 764 537

Read more expert blogs for Cairns here. 




How Are Clear Aligners by Invisalign Made?

Dr Bobby Griffin

Sunbird Orthodontics

Dear Dr Bobby,

How are clear aligners by Invisalign made?

Invisalign is a company that manufactures clear aligners to help your Orthodontist manage a whole range of dental issues. These could be simple alignment of teeth through to complex function and bite issues.

The manufacturing of clear aligners is a fascinating process, especially if you’re a techno-freak like me! First the making of clear aligners by Invisalign begins with a 3D scan of the dentition. In total this process is painless, only about 10-minutes long, and also done in the Orthodontist chair. Next, technology stitches thousands of photographs together to create an incredible 3-dimensional image of your teeth and gums. Following this, Invisalign receives this enormous STL file online. This file now means the Orthodontist can then carefully begins planning your orthodontic treatment using some of the most advanced medical planning software you can imagine. 

Once your Orthodontist is happy that they have planned your case properly, Invisalign sets about manufacturing all the aligners needed for your case, from start to finish. In fact, manufacturers make the clear aligners through a process called stereolithography, which actually needs mind-boggling accuracy and precision. Lastly, the aligners arrive at the Orthodontic practice within a matter of days and are finally ready for the patient. 

4038 1036

Read more Cairns expert’s advice here. 




Are Braces Hard to Clean? – Sunbird Orthodontics Answers

Dr Bobby Griffin

Sunbird Orthodontics

Dear Dr Bobby,

Are Braces Hard to Keep Clean?

Your orthodontist will teach you how to keep your teeth clean while the braces are on. Most people who get braces already have good oral hygiene and they usually have no problem adapting. That said, some kids can get a bit lazy. Your orthodontist monitors oral hygiene at every visit and gives extra teaching and encouragement when necessary to help kids with oral hygiene. The upside to this oral hygiene education is that kids form good habits and become life-long experts on keeping their teeth clean.

4038 1036


Read more of the PakMag expert columns for Cairns here.