Archives for posts with tag: dentist

Why do we need fluoride? By Christine Fischer-Stoess

You may have noticed a new addition to your hygiene appointment at your most recent visit. The Dentist has incorporated fluoride treatment into the hygiene appointment. Fluoride, as you may already know, helps to prevent dental caries (tooth decay). Why are we choosing to offer this to our patients? The evidence for the efficacy of fluoride use in the prevention of tooth decay has always been very sound. Most of the adults we see in the practice are drinking water that is from the city supply, which is fluoridated at the amount of 1 part per million.1 This amount is well within acceptable ranges for fluoridated water and is considered to be an effective measure against dental caries.2

What we also know is that the population are maintaining their teeth for longer periods than ever before. This means that the majority of patients will have at least a few (we hope all!) of their natural teeth into their seventies and beyond. With tooth retention at a fantastic all time high we need to ensure that your teeth are as healthy as possible! The professional application of fluoride during the hygiene appointment will contribute to strong, caries resistant teeth. 3

Fluoride application will also help with remineralisation and prevention of caries in the cementum (root surfaces).3 As we age, we may have a few areas of recession appear and these can be from brushing too hard at one point, traumatic occlusion or frenum attachments, just to name a few! Whatever the cause of the recession, the cementum is not as hard as the enamel and we know that fluoride will help to strengthen, and therefore delay or prevent caries in this tissue.

We also have patients who experience tooth sensitivity. As many of you know, brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth can be a great help for achieving comfortable teeth but having the fluoride treatment will also help to further desensitize those surfaces. 4

These are a few of the reasons why we are using fluoride at The Dentist. For further information on fluoride and its place in dentistry, please have a look at the Australian Dental Association webpage at and click on the “Fluoride Now” link or give us a call or email us using the link on this site!

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Do you Flu Vax? By Christine Fischer-Stoess


I was noticing on my way into the office today that it is “that” time of year again. The time of year when I actually can’t notice anything on my commute to the office because it is so dark outside! This means that winter is on its way to Australia and although I never actually put my barbeque away for any season, the days are going to be getting colder, darker and shorter. Here in Australia, it is also time for the annual influenza campaigns by the Health Authorities, including NSW. Do you get a flu shot?

I have been getting a flu shot (or jab, as I was informed this morning) since I was a teenager. This will be my first flu shot since I have moved to Australia and I have to admit, I’m excited about it. Not because I like needles (because I don’t) and not because I have a particular interest in vaccinations (because I don’t) but because I didn’t get one when I moved here last year. So, I missed a year of getting vaccinated but interestingly enough, I haven’t missed a year of being protected. My flu vaccine this year will “catch me up.” This is because the World Health Organization recommends what should be in the vaccination and Canada had already finished their flu campaign for the winter of 2011-12 when I moved here. So, I am going to be vaccinated with something that is recommended for the population in Australia, which for this year was also recommended for the past flu season in Canada.1

NSW Health recommends that all persons aged 65 or older have an influenza vaccine, as well as pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples aged 15 years or older and people with certain medical conditions including diabetes, cardiac disease and COPD. The full list of recommendations can be accessed on their website.2

So, unless you have plans to migrate to Canada in order to avoid having “the jab” in the next few months, I would encourage you to consider having a flu shot. In fact, the WHO states, “those with essential functions in society” should have an annual flu vaccination.3 I think we are all important enough to require a flu shot.

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Floss to prevent erectile dysfunction: By Christine Fischer-Stoess


I had the pleasure of going to Hobart with my wonderful husband last weekend and I couldn’t help but notice the Prostate Cancer awareness information in the airports. I think it’s a great way to promote awareness. On the topic of ailments reserved for men, there may be a link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and periodontal disease. 1, 2

Periodontal disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition that affects more than half of the American population.3 I do not have the same statistics on the Australian population, but when you consider the vast amount of similarities between the two countries, I think I can make a fair assessment that the Australian population most likely has a similar rate of periodontal disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology website, periodontal disease has been assessed by the CDC to be more prevalent in men than in women.3 Periodontal disease is an inflammatory process that has been linked with endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis and systemic inflammation.2

The correlation between ED and periodontal disease in the study found in the Journal of Sexual Health is based on the idea that chronic periodontal disease is present more commonly in men with ED than men without ED.1 This study also suggests that periodontal disease may increase endothelial dysfunction.1 However, the authors note that endothelial dysfunction needs to be further assessed to determine if it is the causative pathway between periodontal disease and ED. They also advise that periodontal health be considered as a potential cause for ED in otherwise healthy young men.1

So, even though the data suggest the connection, I think the important part of this is to realize that oral health is important in all aspects of total body health. Your mouth is attached to the rest of your body and it should be included in your plans for overall health. The best way to take care of your mouth is to floss, brush and check in with your dental team on a regular basis. Hopefully, none of you reading this article will have to consider periodontal disease as a complication to your health because you are one of our many educated patients taking steps to promote both your oral and total body health!

1)    1- Oğuz, F., Eltas, A., Beytur, A., Akdemir, E., Uslu, M. Ö. and Güneş, A. (2013), Is There a Relationship Between Chronic Periodontitis and Erectile Dysfunction?. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10: 838–843. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02974.x

2)     2-Zadik, Y., Bechor, R., Galor, S., Justo, D. and Heruti, R. J. (2009), Erectile Dysfunction Might Be Associated With Chronic Periodontal Disease: Two Ends of the Cardiovascular Spectrum. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6: 1111–1116. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01141.

3)      3-