With a background in nutrition as well as oral health, Alese Troussas has a particular interest in home hygiene habits and how they can help patients see improvements in a short amount of time. The oral health therapist says teaching children to brush their teeth morning and night is a great practice to begin the moment that first tooth appears.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a qualified oral health therapist and nutritionist. I am passionate about living a heathy lifestyle and all things relating to oral health.
I chose this career path after completing earlier studies in nutrition. My passion for health led me to want to understand the link between what we eat and how it impacts on our teeth and oral health generally.
To quench my thirst for knowledge, I embarked on self-research, which unexpectedly opened a whole new world. At this point in time, I had absolutely no idea what an oral health therapist even was!
Throughout my university studies I was able to fully appreciate oral health therapy and was trained to diagnose, treat, and manage dental diseases in children and adults.
Outside of work, I am a doting mother and a home cook enthusiast. I enjoy exploring the local area for coffee and love walking and bike riding along the Cooks River.
Is there an area in oral health therapy that interests you in particular?
I really enjoy the hygiene side of oral health and helping patients see improvements in a short space of time. I am particularly interested in witnessing the transformation that can occur with a combination of dental treatment and changes to home oral hygiene habits.
What is the best thing about your job?
I really love connecting with patients and understanding where they are at in terms of their oral health. At the Sydney Specialist Dental Group (SSDG) I work alongside a team of impressive dental specialists who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and whom I able to collaborate with to offer high quality dental care.
What are some best practices parents can follow to ensure good oral health long–term for their children?
I strongly believe that as parents, we set the standard for our child’s oral health. The best way to give your child the optimum oral health care is by establishing healthy brushing routines – morning and night – using the appropriate toothpaste, as soon as their teeth start to sprout.
What’s the most common oral hygiene issue children present with?
The most common challenge I have noticed is non-compliance when it comes to brushing teeth. Many parents voice that their children display defiant and challenging behaviours when it comes time to brush their teeth, which can lead to skipping either a morning or evening tooth brushing session and ultimately poor oral hygiene. This can contribute to dental diseases such as “holes”. Here at SSDG we are able to give parents and children the tools to create positive associations around tooth brushing habits. We encourage children and parents to make tooth brushing time fun by firstly understanding what is causing the distress. And then teaching parents and children techniques to reduce stress and create positive associations for this very important lifelong habit.
You’re also a nutritionist, what is some of the key advice you give parents about food choices and teeth/mouth health?
Good nutrition starts with the foods we purchase. Look at labels and ask questions. How much sugar is in this? How processed is this? Is this a healthy food choice? Children model their food choices based on their family/caregivers, so encourage healthy choices for your child by setting good examples and eating well yourself. Ensure that good food choices are readily and easily available, for example cucumbers, carrots, cheese and sugar-free yoghurt. Explain to your child in simple words, and demonstrate through visuals, the importance of healthy foods followed by family healthy eating habits.
How do you like spending your spare time?
My spare time is extremely precious and some weeks almost non-existent. I always set aside time, even if it is half an hour to do the things I love like exploring the walks around my local area and participating in barre class.
Sydney Specialist Dental Group, 78/ 60-82 Princes Highway, St Peters, 02 9550 1188, ssdg.com.au