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Dentist Themed Christmas Toys for 2018

Well Christmas is almost upon us again. We thought we would help out with the Christmas shopping by preparing a list of age appropriate gifts that encourage good dental health. I’ve been out to the shops a couple of times already this December looking for the latest fads that kids will be looking for. To be honest, there is not a lot of fresh ideas at this time of year.

Some of the usual suspects like different slime and goo products, unicorn themed toys, fur real friends are out there. I saw a lot of robots and lego packages as well as a few random collectible toys that sit on the wrists or fingers for the kids. If you have gaming consoles, Nintendo has done well with their end of year gaming releases, Pokemon Let’s Go is probably the biggest item at the moment. So yeah, my advice is sit your kids down with some catalogues or on some store websites and get them to point out different things they have their eye on. I like to give our girls a budget and let them try to calculate what they can get with that money.

Now for the dental themed ideas. I’ve tried to find a few different items for different age groups here.

https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/pretend-dentist-kit-for-kids-mx0195175/

Kogan has this little plastic dentist kit available on their store, priced at just $13.64. In my experience kids up to 5 or 6 have the most fun with these kinds of toys. Pretending to have jobs or prepare meals in the kitchen. I recently bought a cat tower from Kogan with AfterPay for $99.95. The delivery on that item was a day or two later then it estimated online. However I also bought a new tv for the girls loungeroom and I was contacted by Kogan via text to confirm a December 20 drop off time which I thought was great service. With the cat tower as well, it was a lot cheaper then many options online and impressive quality. If you haven’t used Kogan before I do recommend them so far. This item has estimated 1-2 day shipping at the moment.

https://www.sylvanian-families.com.au/sylvanian-families-country-dentist-set

I haven’t purchased from these guys before however the girls grandparents had a lot of these toys which they passed onto the girls. Again, this is more for the younger ones but these toys are good quality. This package is just $24.50. Be careful with the pictures though it does not include a lot of the furniture like the reception tables and the building being used. Those are a separate purchase which is explained on the website.

https://www.u-buy.com.au/catalog/product/view/id/938924

I had some trouble locating this toy from an Australian store, we don’t always get the full range of items over here. This one is a Barbie dentist, it looks good. This website is offering it for $96 but it comes with warnings about the shipping time. Might be worth trying to find this one elsewhere or giving it a miss. I included it because it’s a great looking gift.

https://www.madaboutscience.com.au/shop/oral-hygiene-model.html

For the older kids this is a dental hygiene model. Something a bit different. Maybe you have kids that are interested in becoming a dentist, maybe you have kids that are pretty interested in Biology, or maybe you just want to give your teenagers a hint.

And finally, here is a shameless plug for any adults you may be shopping for. Central Brisbane Dental has Teeth Whitening deals where you can get a professional whitening service for just $550.

Stay safe over the Christmas and New Year period!

Movie World Fright Nights Are Back For 2018

So we’re now in the last week of school holidays for Queensland and this weekend might be a good time to checkout the annual Movie World event, Fright Night. Fright Nights are an after dark event that runs throughout the month of October every year at Movie World. The park is opened later till 10pm and allows visitors to experience some of the famous thrill rides during the dark hours of the night. As well as the rides there are special event features such as mazes, scare zones, unique shows and other horror themed activities.

Movie World recommends that children are not under the age of 14 if they do attend, as well as all children be accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased online here;

https://frightnights.com.au/tickets-and-upgrades

It’s important to note that Fright Night officially begins at 4.30pm, if you are only interested in attending the Fright Night activities and you purchase entry to the park just for Fright Night you will have restricted access to the park. You can read more about this on the FAQs page of the Movie World website.

https://frightnights.com.au/event-info/faq

If you’re looking for value for money and you can make it to the Gold Coast at least a couple of times over the next four weeks then you may be more interested in purchasing a season pass to Fright Night which is currently listed at $90. This will grant you unlimited entry during the Fright Night event calendar. Entry to Fright Night for a single evening is currently listed at $45.

Some rides and all the mazes do have fast track passes available for purchase. There are exclusive events such as 3 themed panic rooms for which you can purchase your entry separately. Your teenagers may want to attend this with friends, and dressing up is allowed for those that are interested. There are some rules on any costumes that are worn. Guests faces must be visible at all times for safety, so no masks and only light make up is allowed.

Fright Night itself only runs from 4.30pm till 10pm. If you would like to spend the whole day at Movie World you will need to purchase entry to the park as well as to Fright Night. If you are looking for value for money, we again recommend purchasing an annual pass as just a couple of trips to the theme parks throughout the year will bring substantial savings to your wallet.

Nerf Assembler Gear Review

My 4 year old son may not be old enough to see Avengers: Infinity War.  That doesn’t stop all the big toy companies from making toys based on the movie targeted directly at him.  There’s the usual action figures and dress-up costumes with masks and plastic weapons of The Avengers.  One toy got both our attentions – Nerf Assembler Gear.

Nerf Assembler Gear is pretty loosely based on Avengers: Infinity War.  Apart from having gear for 5 different superheroes from the movie, there is basically no other connection.  There is one gear pack for Ironman, Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America and Star-Lord.

Each gear pack is basically a Nerf gun that comes in different pieces.  The design and colour of the pieces are specific for the superhero.  Ironman has a repulsor beam and mainly maroon pieces.  Spiderman has a spider web piece and dark blue pieces.  Hulk has a large green fist and other green pieces.  Captain America has a shield and red and blue pieces.  Star-Lord has a quad blaster and orange pieces.

You can put these pieces together in a few different ways due to different connections on each piece.  Some connections are end-to-end to make the gun longer.  Other pieces can slide into slots on the top, bottom and sides.  So each gear pack can make several styles of Nerf Gun depending on how you arrange the pieces.

What is even better still is that you can combine pieces from different gear packs together to form even more different weapons.  A Captain America shield can have Spiderman’s spider web shooting out of it.  Hulk’s massive green fist can be holding Star-Lord’s quad blaster which can be shooting out Ironman’s repulsor beam.  The combinations are limitless.

This is my son’s favourite toy at the moment.  He likes building what he calls the ultimate weapon by attaching all the pieces he has into one big Nerf gun.  Although still Nerf guns, we prefer these ones to the standard guns that simply shoot foam darts.  At least these ones also encourage creativity and reinforce building concepts.

Teeth Cleaning At Home – What A Dentist Uses

What does a dentist use himself to clean his own teeth at home? What items are found in a dentist’s bathroom that he uses every day to clean his teeth? What things are found in his teeth cleaning kit when he goes away on holidays? Patients want to know if dentists do what they preach. Are the oral hygiene items they recommend me use the same as the ones they use themselves?

At Central Brisbane Dental, we give a free oral hygiene pack to every patient after their checkup and clean appointment. Inside the pack are things we recommend they use with simple oral hygiene instructions on how to brush and floss properly. There is an extra soft Colgate or Oral B toothbrush as we recommend very soft bristles to avoid damaging the teeth and gums during cleaning. Most patients receive a general toothpaste such as Colgate Total or Oral B Gum Care and Enamel Restore. For those with sensitive teeth, we provide either Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Colgate Sensitive instead of a general toothpaste to help reduce sensations. A small Colgate or Oral B floss is also included.

These items are provided to the patient to encourage good oral hygiene practices. We can use them as props to discuss their recommended oral hygiene routine. There’s also less excuses if you have the appropriate tools we recommend you use provided to you.

These are the same oral hygiene items I use myself. When I go away on holidays, I actually take two of these oral hygiene packs with me – one for myself and one for my wife. At home, we use an Oral B Genius rechargeable electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush as I like the oscillating cleaning action of the powered toothbrush. A manual toothbrush is still fine to use so I use one when I am away on holidays when I don’t want to take the electric one. We still use an extra soft toothbrush head called a Sensitive Clean brush head.

Invisalign vs ClearPath

When it comes to straightening teeth with clear aligners, most patients think of Invisalign. This is more because of great marketing of their brand, rather than because it is the only product out there. In fact, there are now numerous options available to straighten teeth using clear aligners. At Central Brisbane Dental, we chose to use ClearPath clear aligners as we believe they are superior than Invisalign ones.

Here’s 3 reasons why we believe ClearPath is better than Invisalign:

1. Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners were designed by a patient who was having orthodontic treatment. He believed there must be a better way to straighten teeth instead of using the brackets and wires he was wearing at the time. Invisalign aligners was his solution. However, he didn’t have any dental background or experience so spent most of his money on marketing his product rather than making the best product available. Instead, ClearPath took that initial Invisalign idea and perfected the product with input from dentists and specialist orthodontists rather than focusing their efforts on marketing. We believe the ClearPath aligner is the best available today.

2. Your Teeth

Invisalign makes the dentist glue little shapes of composite resin filling material to your teeth to help their aligners grip and move your teeth. These bits of filling material make your teeth feel lumpy, are harder to clean and don’t look so good up close. They can also come away from your teeth during treatment and need to be replaced. It would be better for your teeth if these weren’t needed. ClearPath has developed a smarter aligner where there is a patented microscopic crisscross pattern on the fitting surface that grips your teeth and moves them without the need for the shapes of filling material. With ClearPath, you don’t have to worry about extra bits of filling material on your teeth.

3. Your Cost

Relying on their well known brand name, Invisalign can obviously charge more expensive prices. ClearPath orthodontic treatment is less costly. ClearPath’s aligner packages are less expensive. Invisalign usually charges per number of aligners. The more aligners you need, the larger the bill. So in cases where you need a lot of aligners, the bill can be quite large. ClearPath has unlimited aligner packages where you pay the same low price no matter how many aligners you need after that. If something doesn’t go as planned and you need more aligners during the course of your treatment, these are in most cases included free of extra charge. If you need more aligners at the end of your proposed treatment to do a little more straightening, these are always included free of extra charge. With ClearPath, you also get 2 sets of removable retainers included free of charge to be worn after aligner treatment is finished to hold your teeth in the corrected positions.

Dental Patient Reviews

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has just released a healthcare advertising checklist.  Amongst the usual responsible advertising guidelines, there’s a kind reminder about testimonials and reviews.  Any patient testimonials, stories, recommendations or reviews about clinical care are prohibited in all forms of advertising.  There can be no mention of the presenting symptoms, treatment carried out or the outcome of the treatment.  There can be nothing mentioning or even alluding to the clinical competency of the health practitioner.

The contradicting aspect about this is that the health practitioner is responsible only for advertising that we can control.  This means any form of advertising from print to media, in-house or outsourced to a third party.  It also includes online sites such as the practice website, as well as social media pages like our Facebook page.  We are told to delete all testimonials and reviews and turn off the review function in the settings if this is possible.

However, there are numerous online sites with absolutely no association with us that do the same things that AHPRA don’t want health practitioners doing.  These sites display patient testimonials and ask for patient reviews.  They deliberately ask the community to comment on their experience with us, on our clinical care.  They ask them to give us a star rating, usually out of a maximum five stars.

It seems the rule stopping health practitioners from using testimonials and reviews is a little redundant.  If testimonials and reviews are widely available from a range of other sources, does it really matter if these are on a health practitioner’s advertising?  The testimonials and reviews on a health practitioner’s advertising will always be positive and full of self praise you may say.  No one in their right mind will talk badly about themselves when trying to market their practice.  However, potential patients doing their research will no doubt look for testimonials and reviews from independent third parties.  Debatable or not, we will just have to abide by the guidelines set by AHPRA.

 

Bulk Billing Dentist Brisbane

Our receptionist often gets asked whether we bulk bill.  Unfortunately, bulk billing does not exist for dentists in Australia.  Bulk billing only applies to doctors in private practice and not dentists.

So what is bulk billing and how does it work?  Basically, it is having Medicare pay for your healthcare.  Medicare will pay for consultations and treatments at the doctor.  The doctor submits a claim to get paid by Medicare and the patient doesn’t have to pay themselves.  Before the digital age which has allowed on the spot claiming for each case, the doctor used to wait till they accumulated a bulk amount of these claims before billing Medicare.  Hence, the term bulk billing was coined.

Unfortunately, this process for doctors does not apply to dentists in private practice.  To see a dentist in Australia, you have to pay for it yourself.  You can join a health fund with dental cover and they can help pay your bill, but you have to pay the health fund a membership fee.  So joining a health fund may or may not be worthwhile depending on how much you pay for it and how much you can claim back.

If you have a healthcare card, you may be eligible for certain dental treatments at a public dental hospital.  There are lengthy waiting lists for general dental treatments.  If you have an emergency such as a toothache, you must go to the dental hospital early in the morning and line up to get a number.  If you are lucky enough to get a number, you will be seen that day.  If not, you may have to go back the next day.

There are two special government schemes where Medicare will pay for dental treatment at a private dentist.  If you are a veteran, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will issue you a card which usually allows you all dental treatments.  The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) allows eligible children up to a $1000 to use on dental treatment over a two year period.  However, not all treatments are covered. View Terms and Conditions.

Review and Maintenance

As with most things in life, dental health requires continual review and maintenance.  Just because you were dentally fit and healthy six months ago, does not necessarily mean you are now.  Just because you have no problems with your teeth and gums at this present time, does not mean they will stay this way in the future.  Continual review and maintenance is the only way to ensure optimum dental health.

Our lives our constantly changing.  What we do for work may change.  We may get a promotion or be made redundant.  We may change jobs altogether.  Our relationships may change.  We may end a relationship.  We may start a new one.  What we do in our spare time may change.  We may begin a new hobby.  We may take up a new sport.

All these things may affect our bodies, including our mouths.  We may be more or less busy and have more or less time to look after ourselves properly.  Our attitude towards certain things may change and we may spend more or less time doing certain things.  There may be a direct impact on our bodies including our mouths from choosing to do or not do certain things or doing certain things differently.

Regular continual review ensures we know what state our mouths are at this present time.  If the current state is less than optimal, then some treatment can be done quickly to correct it before it gets much worse.  If the current state is healthy, then nothing may need to be done besides some maintenance teeth and gum cleaning.  That is why it is recommended to get a checkup and clean done at the dentist every six months.  This continual review and maintenance routine ensures optimum dental health for the long term whatever changes occur in your life that may affect your body.

Extractions and Dentures

Patients with bad teeth often proclaim that they want all their teeth removed and have dentures made.  These patients think they will have no dental problems any more after this because they will no longer have any of their own teeth.  Little do they know that it is not as simple as that.

It is true that without teeth, they will be spared from teeth specific problems such as tooth decay.  Cavities can’t form where there is no tooth structure no matter how poor the oral hygiene is.  However, dentures and the oral soft tissues on which they sit still need to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid taste and smell issues.  Infections can still occur in the underlying soft tissues if the are not cleaned well.

Dentures themselves can also introduce new problems.  They can take time to get used to as they are quite different to your own teeth.  Dentures can rub on their supporting soft tissues and cause soreness.  Denture teeth can still break and wear just as our own teeth can.  Dentures need to be taken out at night to give the supporting tissues time to rest and recover.

With dentures, you still need to have regular 6 monthly checkups with the dentist.  Your dentures and supporting soft tissues need to be checked and cleaned.  The gums and bone on which your dentures sit can shrink and resorb over time.  If this happens, your dentures may become loose and need to be relined.  If there is a lot of change in the supporting gum and bone, new dentures need to be made.

Having all your teeth removed and replaced by dentures is sometimes necessary and the only viable option if the natural teeth are in very poor condition.  However, if your own teeth can be saved, then they should be.  Your own teeth are always much better than artificial replacements.  There are still dental problems when you don’t have any teeth and a set of dentures.

 

What Is Peri Implantitis?

Don’t think that dental implants are not natural teeth so are not subject to dental problems.  A dental implant itself is artificial, but the jaw bone and gum tissue surrounding the implant is natural living tissue.  There are dental problems that will affect the artificial dental implant and problems that will affect the natural tissues.

Problems with the Dental Implant:

All the artificial components associated with a dental implant can wear and tear and may need to be replaced.  Crowns, bridges and dentures that attach to dental implants may need to be repaired or remade over time. Small internal screws that are used to attach crowns, bridges and dentures may need to be replaced if they break.  A dental implant itself tends to stay locked to the jaw bone once it is firmly attached after surgery to place it.  However, there are a small number of cases of dental implants that don’t integrate well with the jaw bone or the surgery site becomes infected.  These dental implants need to be removed and a new one placed after the jaw bone is cleaned and healing occurs.

Problems with the Surrounding Natural Tissue:

You still need to clean a dental implant as you would a natural tooth.  If the implant and its surrounding tissues are not cleaned properly, you can get a gum disease called peri-implantitis.  Like with normal gum disease affecting the gum and jaw bone that surround natural teeth, the gum and jaw bone surrounding an implant can become inflammed and break down in peri-implantitis.  Severe cases of peri-implantitis can result in failure of the implant similar to loss of the tooth in severe cases of normal gum disease.

Dental implants and the crowns, bridges and dentures that attach to them need to be brushed and flossed.  You need to see the dentist every 6 months to have your dental implants and their crowns, bridges and dentures checked and professionally cleaned.