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!

 

 

 

 

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!

Oral health, Teeth and beauty, Teeth grooming and hygiene

Procrastination

I have been listening to Mel Robbins’ “The 5 Second Rule” (just to keep me ‘on task’ with the new business) and it reminded me that procrastination and genocide of great ideas is not unique to myself.

For example, Australians are huge procrastinators when it comes to professional dental care.

This week, I will share some interesting stats about Australians’ attitude to dental health and what LSOS is going to do to change that. Yep, we ARE going to change the world, people! 

STAT 1: 67% of Australians avoid regular dental visits!  That’s a huge number! 

Are you one of these people? Why do YOU avoid regular dental visits? Tell me more, I won’t judge, I promise!

Little Shop Of Smiles is Born

The time is now

I have an itch I have to scratch… and for what I am about to do, I am really truly… EXCITED. Little Shop of Smiles is not just a business or a service, it is a social experiment. Can ordinary people change Australian professional dental care forever?

Australians really dislike the dentist (ok, some of you hate them, too). For some, it’s a convenience issue, for others it’s a financial matter and for some it’s a case of serious phobias. Most Australians don’t have their teeth cleaned and checked regularly not because they don’t want to, but because they are truly afraid of what comes next… fillings (?), crowns (?) extractions even….

What if we could separate our teeth hygiene from our teeth medicine? What if we could get our teeth cleaned whenever and (almost) wherever we liked without needing to see the dentist?

Well, that’s what LSOS sets out to prove. We believe we can change the way Aussies look after their teeth. We are boldly going where no dentist, hygienist or patient has ever gone before. We’re giving ordinary Australians the power to decide: on demand, professional teeth hygiene: yay or nay?

This may change everything…