Nuggets of Wisdom

Oral health, Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene, Uncategorized

Hello white smiles, goodbye expensive fads! A hack for awesome teeth.

Are you getting swamped by Instagram and Facebook posts of products that promise brighter teeth in just 10 minutes, from gels and mouth-stretching lights to toothpastes, mouthwashes and oils? And all that for a very ‘affordable’ $29.99+ per month? All the toothpaste, mouthwash, gel you can possibly want, for close to $400 bucks per year???

Are you tempted? Here’s why you should think carefully before you spend you hard earned cash on gimmicks rather than actual results.

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Cost

For the amount of money you would spend on various subscriptions on black gritty toothpastes, bicarb soda mouthwashes and gels, you can see an ACTUAL dentist twice per year AND have your teeth whitened by professionals. You can buy a hundred tubs of supermarket-grade toothpaste. You can buy A LOT of floss!

Effectiveness 

Most of the products you see on social media have NO actual whitening or teeth strengthening ingredients. None! Bicarb soda, charcoal, coconut oil, positive vibes, these are only useful because they get you to actually pay attention to your teeth. As a dentist, I love the fact teeth are becoming such a central point of people’s self-care. However, what’s the point of using something which won’t give you results you want (healthy, bright smiles)? Which leads me to the next point…

‘Teeth  fatigue’

You may be surprised to hear this: people don’t actually spend a lot of time on their teeth at home. Sure, there’s the intention, there’s product that looks awesome on your bathroom vanity, there are selfies in the bathroom (who doesn’t love a good bathroom selfie!). But trust me, after 20 years of staring down people’s mouths I promise you: 1% of all people floss and brush their teeth every day. So, even the two step process becomes a drag, I’d like to see the multi-step process last past the Boomerang video.

So, here are some simple hacks for awesome teeth that most people can afford:

Have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice per year, either by a dentist or a hygienist. We use awesome tools that do amazing things to remove your stains, tartar and plaque. This is not just going to make you look and feel better, but will also make you healthier. Cost: Up to $400 per year at the dentist (or $120 at the Little Shop of Smiles)

Brush twice daily with a Fluoride toothpaste. If you don’t use Fluoride, you better be crossing your fingers and toes there’s no sugar (and I mean, all carbohydrate) in anything you eat…unless of course you have a way of asking the bacteria in your mouth not to smash your teeth, pretty please… Cost: Up to $100 per year of fanciest supermarket toothpaste!

Floss! OMG this ‘yoga for teeth’ is sooo important for cleanliness and oral wellbeing, yet so few people actually do it. Just start and don’t forget to say a few big long Om chants in the process. You will be reborn! Cost: $15 for 200meters!

Only peroxide will whiten your teeth. Go ask real scientists, not some B grade YouTuber. Whiten your teeth ONCE with actual peroxide-based whitening products, using the strongest possible product over the shortest period of time. Achieve real results quickly, the first time and then occasionally top it up. No subscriptions, no ongoing costs, no complicated routines and glowing duck-faces! Cost: Starts from $200 at the dentist ($99 at the Little Shop of Smiles).

Repeat!

 

 

 

 

Teeth and beauty, Uncategorized

Teeth care, skin care: SELF care

Last night I opened a package of skincare I never intended to get. I guess I just never wanted to think about myself as getting older, needing maintenance of any kind, lacking something… But then I started the 60 day program towards better, healthier skin and thought to myself: this is not skin-care, this is self-care. What else can I do to really care for myself today? Out comes the floss and the whitening tray I kept somewhere in the bathroom cupboard and had no time to wear. Out comes the camera: I’m going to mark this day, this is my Day1, this is where I take control of what tomorrow looks like. 
 
If you have been afraid of finding out you’re less than perfect, afraid of a ‘diagnosis’, given up on looking better because it ‘may not work’, my honest advice is: just start. A step or two forward is still better than being back behind the start line. Committing to a small act of betterment at a time is better than making big bold plans which you never execute. 
 
Teeth cleaning and whitening, skin care, a nice hairstyle, a strong and healthy body will not  turn you into someone different, but you are guaranteed to feel better if only for the extra care you allowed yourself. I am yet to meet a client who is indifferent to their cleaner, brighter teeth and I challenge you to try!IMG_8222
Special thanks to Michelle from Rodan&Fields Australia for nudging me across the line and setting me a challenge to change my mindset. Difficult thing to change, but leads to great adventures! Find her on FB and start your own journey. https://www.facebook.com/michelle.heffernan.948
Uncategorized

Our Paddington Store

We have been working overtime to be able to bring to life our first pop-up store at 2/2 Latrobe Terrace in the iconic Brisbane suburb of Paddington. The whole neighbourhood is full of amazing unique boutiques and cafes and we love being a part of this great community.

We are really proud with the final result and hope you will be, too. Here are some pictures of our shop.

We hope to see you all there before we wrap up and relocate on November 3rd. For more info, please follow our Facebook Page.

XOXO, LSOS

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Little Shop Of Smiles is Born, Oral health, Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene, Uncategorized

Hip Hip Hooray!

Do I hear a woot-woot? Drum roll, please!

We’re extremely proud to announce that the LSOS crew has found our first pop-up home: Shop 5 of 2 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington and we are ready to launch on Tuesday, September 12. Yes, the coolest little part of Brisbane just got way cooler!

We can’t wait to see you there. Pop in and say “Hi”, treat your pearly whites to a heavenly clean and hang out with the happiest people in the dental business: our smile-makers!

We are pumped!

XOXO LSOS

Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

Things that make us too busy to smile (well, at least to look after our smile): too much partying!

Yes my friends, there is such a thing as too much partying for your own good. If you partake in alcoholic refreshments, recreational drugs, cigarettes, you are at risk of wrecking those pearly whites for like, ever.

Now, I don’t want to be a hypocrite, I was 20something once, I get it- nothing is more important than having fun. But, hey, you think that tartar on your teeth and those bleeding gums look good in them selfies? You reckon no one notices the REAL reason you chew gum ALL the time? Dude, wake up! You wanna roll with the hot young things, you need to look the part, not just on the outside, but also on the inside. And by that I don’t mean your caring nature, nah, I mean your teeth!

At LSOS we are for the party animals! We get you! We can help you with some really easy tips to make sure your teeth don’t get left behind with your partying days like bad tattoos: one day, like in the future, you know. We can also help you get that last minute ‘shine’ before a big night of Instagram action. So, come on in, look us up and get with the program, YOLO!

Oral health, Teeth and beauty

Things that make us too busy to smile: our work.

Charlize Theron recently famously admitted to cracking two of her molar teeth on the set of her new film, Atomic Blonde, but she is not alone in allowing her health to take a hit due to work. Our attitude towards work and our sense of work-life balance has totally spiralled out of control. With it we have also perpetuated gender inequality and wrecked our relationships: I mean, there’s really only room for one workaholic in a family… and we subscribe to the myth that one over-achiever is better than two achievers, regardless of the gender.

Is this obsession with work only a function of increased demands on our workforce, or is it also another way of relinquishing control for our lives to an external entity, in this case, a corporation? People who feel in control of their lives are said to have an ‘internal locus of control’ as opposed to those who feel like life controls them i.e. ‘external locus of control’. External locus- people are less prone to act on their plans and ideas. Interestingly, they also tend to suffer more from a number of ailments and health issues, including mental health issues, than those with an internal locus of control. So, are we letting ourselves down by letting our work in?

In Australia, our health is our own to look after, aided by public health funding and our own private insurance payments. Our employers very rarely play a part in our health care and well being except to allow us up to 10 days to recover from an illness if need be. In other, employer funded health models, like USA, the employer covers all costs of their employees health insurances and this ensures they get good care if they are ill. To minimise costs of insurance policies, employers promote good preventative health practices and encourage regular dental visits and medical checks. Both systems have their own advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important to remember we don’t owe our employers our health, but we do owe it to ourselves and our families.

You are the only person responsible for your own health and wellbeing and if large corporations can save by taking part in prevention programs, why not take a leaf out of their book and do the same? It may save you money, but it will also make you happier and more in control. So, start with your smile and if you’re worried about what lurks there after many years of dental apathy, come see us! We’ll excavate your smile back from the decade old deposits and have you ready to front up to your dentist…and of course, smile – like a boss.

Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

Things that make us too busy to smile: being busy parents

Parenthood, another term for ‘losing all control of your life’. Every parent scrambles to find at least some resemblance of a routine or order in their new lives, but just when they think they’ve got it: it changes again. We go from being trapped at home with nappies, feeding and power naps to being able to plan social outings with the other parents in the hood. Just as we get comfy in our new active wear, a funky reusable coffee mug and the hottest pram in the blogosphere…BAM! Back to work, childcare, packing, unpacking, rushing from work to avoid being ‘that parent’ who leaves their kid past the closing time EVERY day. Soon enough, the kids become settled in their new daycare, so we manage to squeeze in an occasional hair appointment or longer lunch at work… even a sneaky day off on our own. Life’s good, busy, but I got this…then..BAM! School starts, OMG, 9 to 3? What? Packed lunches and morning tea? Hats, homework, readers, sports days, special assemblies, discos, camps. We start feeling guilty we’re not a part of it all so we start to mess with our work days, chop and change, work from home, work from the car, work from the toilet, whenever no one’s looking, just so we can be ‘there’ for them… I lost it again. Now we spend more time with our precious little one, but also more time stressing about work we squeeze into half the days and have less time for those brief moments we had on our own. We collapse in bed at 8:30 feeling so chuffed we got the kids  into bed on time, but with an empty tank and a head full of things to remember- and I guarantee you, flossing doesn’t even make the list. Dentist appointment? Are you kidding me? I just took the kids last week, ticked that box, that is now the last place I want to go back to. What’s next on that list?

And so it goes, before we know it, we missed out on our appointments, our gym sessions, our date nights… and we can barely recognise the face we see in the mirror. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of beauty in a face that has been ‘made over’ by 5 year old make up artists and kissed and hugged to death by sticky toddler mouths and fingers, there is a lot of beauty in the wrinkles and the grey hair of parents of teenagers who have experienced fear and anger and pride and love and joy… but not everything has to go, you don’t have to make yourself smaller to make more room for them. Your smile is what they love to see when you wake them up, pick them up, wave them goodbye. So, look after it and make sure it stays healthy, bright and wide, you owe it to them and you owe it to you!

Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

Dental Health Week 7-13 August: Oral health for busy lives

This week we celebrate the Australian Dental Health Week. This year’s theme is “Oral Health for Busy Lives”. Boy, do we know a thing or two about that. In fact, we created our whole business around people who lead these busy lives, people like ourselves. So all this week we will be posting articles about what makes us so busy and makes us forget to look after ourselves and our beautiful smiles. Join in the conversation and send us your stories about why you may have been too busy to brush, floss, have a good professional clean, or even had to forego more serious medical or dental interventions. Was it all ok in the end? Can anything really be more important than your health and happiness?

If you want to learn more, visit dentalhealthweek.com.au

Oral health, Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

The (in)convenient truth about dental hygiene

STAT 4: Around 40% of Australians who avoid the dentist do so because it is INCONVENIENT. That is almost 30% of ALL Australians. 

Ok, I find this stat really really difficult to wrap my head around. There is a dentist probably around every corner in this country, well, more so in urban areas. But maybe it’s not the location that is inconvenient. Maybe it’s the process. Phoning in, scheduling an appointment well in advance, putting aside a couple of hours in your day, letting work know you’ll be away. Then, on the day, having to apologetically phone to postpone your visit because an urgent client meeting has come up and the boss needs you to look after it… paying cancellation fees, being black-listed…looking for another dentist because you’re embarrassed to go to the first one…

At LSOS we are…ta da: APPOINTMENT FREE! Can you believe that? No more feeling guilty when you can’t make it on time, because your time is THE TIME! If you have to wait your turn, you’re not likely to have to wait long. If you want to jump the queue, we can text you when we’re ready and you can get yourself some well deserved lunch or retail therapy! Now how convenient is THAT?

Oral health, Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

Don’t like the dentist?

STAT 3: 24% of Australians who avoid the dentist do so because they dislike or are afraid of the dentist. That’s 16% of ALL Australians. 

Fears, likes and dislikes can be based on a number of things. In my many years as a dentist, I have found one thing to be the most powerful determinant of how people feel about the dentist and that is: past experiences. One bad experience is often enough to make your heart pound at the very thought of the dental surgery. But there are also other reasons people simply dislike the dentist.

It is rare (except maybe in the case of obstetrics and gynaecology) that people get as close to a health professionals as they do to a dentist. I mean, really, really physically close. This makes them vulnerable and anxious. They find dental terms confusing and the options for treatment overwhelming. Dental treatment can take months to complete, causing a lot of inconvenience in people’s daily lives. People also feel like once their treatment is done, there is no way to judge whether it was done well or not. All of these factors cause major anxiety when it comes to dental care.  Still, major dental treatment often becomes major because there’s been some procrastination involved. So, once it is really necessary, worst thing you can do is to IGNORE it.

At LSOS we do three things to combat the fear of dentist:

  1. We don’t hire dentists (ok there’s me, but it’s my business so I have to be there).
  2. We only offer three services which don’t require aesthetic or long appointments.
  3. W e remove plaque, tartar and stain, so you should be able to easily and quickly assess how effective we are.
  4. And yes, our bonus brownie point: All our fees are there for everyone to see BEFORE you step into our salon.

Are you convinced that we may just be changing the world after all? Told you so!