Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

How often do I have to go to the dentist?

We recommend that most people should visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a professional clean. This is because dental caries (decay) can develop within that time, and early diagnosis will be best to prevent more complex issues. Calculus (tartar) can also build up on your teeth in a few months. This can only be cleaned off professionally at the dentist to prevent gingivitis. Some patients at high risk of gum disease or decay may have to attend more frequently. Talk to your dentist about how often you need to schedule your visits.

Can I go to the dentist when I’m pregnant?

Yes, it is still important to have regular dental visits when you are pregnant. For some women pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease, so it is essential that optimal dental health is maintained. Most dental procedures can be safely performed during pregnancy, although non-urgent dental x-rays may be postponed even if the risks are very low. This is to minimise unnecessary radiation to the foetus, so be sure to tell your dentist if you are pregnant.

Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?

Although brushing is very important in maintaining good oral health, there are often food, plaque and bacteria left behind that cannot be effectively cleaned off with brushing alone. This is especially true in the contact areas in between teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing helps to remove food and plaque in these areas and is vital in preventing the onset of decay. Flossing is very simple once you make it become a regular habit. Ask us to show you the most effective way to floss. You will notice the difference at your next scale and clean appointment.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

It is important to maintain the health of the deiduous, or ‘baby’ teeth for many reasons. Not only do they help children with their speech development, and to attain optimal nutrition; retaining the deciduous teeth is important in maintaining the arch space required to allow the permanent ‘adult’ teeth to erupt into alignment when they are ready. This minimises complications with teeth misalignment possibly requiring orthodontic treatments to correct in the future.

What can be done to brighten my smile?

Tooth whitening can lighten the colour of tooth enamel and dentine. There are different types of teeth whitening, including in-chair whitening, take-home kits, and internal bleaching for discoloured teeth. Studies have shown that the proper use of dentist-monitored, whitening systems can enhance your smile and confidence. You will need to discuss with your dentist which teeth whitening option will work best for you.

How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

The results of teeth whitening vary between patients, and it is difficult to quantify how long the teeth with remain the lighter shade after whitening treatment. There are factors that can impact the long-term success of teeth whitening, including smoking, drinking red wine, coffee and your oral hygiene. Teeth whitening procedures can be repeated in the comfort of your own home every few months if desired, to maintain a lighter and brighter smile. Ask our staff about our teeth whitening options.

What types of dentures are there?

Dentures may replace all or some of your teeth. They can be complete dentures, partial dentures, chrome or acrylic dentures, and implant retained dentures. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth in an edentulous patient, they are usually acrylic dentures. The stability and retention of these dentures can be greatly improved by attaching them to dental implants. This method can achieve very satisfactory results for patients without any of their own teeth and struggling with looseness in their existing dentures, especially in the lower arch.
Dentures that replace some but not all of the teeth are known as partial dentures.
They can be made from a combination of acrylic and chrome casting. Dental implants can also be used in conjunction with partial dentures to achieve greater stability and retention.

Call us to discuss the option of implant retained dentures.

What should I do about bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are usually a symptom of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Effective cleaning is often the best course of treatment, both at home and professionally by a dentist or hygienist. Brushing may be a bit painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing will remove any plaque present and help restore periodontal health and reduce inflammation, and the bleeding will cease. Tartar that cannot be brushed off will need to be cleaned by a dentist to assist in treating the gingivitis. Bleeding gums can also be a symptom of other underlying health issues, such as diabetes, or HIV, or a side effect of medications taken. It is important for you to visit your dentist and have a periodontal assessment done to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue.

Why do I need fluoride?

Fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid that causes dental decay. Many studies have shown that when you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other dental products containing fluoride, you are preventing future dental decay and strengthening the enamel that protects your teeth.

Should my children have fluoride?

Children should use toothpaste with fluoride to brush their teeth. For children younger than 3 years, you should begin brushing your children’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. You should be brushing their teeth thoroughly twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist. For children 3 to 6 years of age, dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush teeth thoroughly twice per day. Always supervise your child’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste and try and get your child to spit out most of the toothpaste. Appropriate amounts of fluoride is important in strengthening your child’s teeth against dental decay, but excess can cause issues in dental development.

What causes morning breath?

The oral bacteria in your mouth breaks down food particles producing sulphur compounds, which gives off a bad odour. Your saliva acts as the mouth’s natural mouthwash buffering any acids and sulphur compounds in the mouth. When you are asleep, saliva production in your mouth decreases. So after hours of sleep some people may experience morning breath. Brushing your teeth in the morning is a great habit to get into to help with this problem. It is worth noting that bad breath (halitosis) in the long-term can be a sign of other more serious dental or health related issues. Contact us if this is a concern.

What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth is usually a symptom of gum recession, gingivitis or dental decay. Dental decay and gingivitis are diseases that should be managed by a dentist. If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity due to gum recession, where the gums have started to recede leaving the root dentine exposed, toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help reduce the symptoms for some patients. If symptoms persist see your dentist for further advice. There are dental products containing concentrated fluoride that your dentist may recommend to help with sensitivity. In some cases dental restorations may be indicated to alleviate severe symptoms. Ask our friendly staff for more information on sensitive teeth.

How can I prevent cavities?

Brushing your teeth twice a day, especially before bed, is paramount to preventing dental decay. Take note to brush every surface of the teeth systematically in a gentle circular motion to remove plaque and any food debris. Brushing should take 2-3 minutes minimum. Flossing is also important in removing food/plaque in hard to reach places. Minimising frequent sugar intakes during the day will help reduce the likelihood of dental decay. Sugary drinks are especially harmful to teeth enamel. After a meal, having a drink of water or rinsing your mouth can help neutralise acids and remove sugars from your teeth. Chewing gum can also help stimulate saliva flow which is a natural buffer to acids in the mouth. Regular dental check-ups and cleans are also necessary to maintaining optimal dental health.

Does a rinse or mouthwash help?

Mouthwashes are an additional tool to help prevent dental decay, sensitivity and bad breath. It should be used in addition to, but not instead of, regular brushing and flossing. Some people may also use mouthwashes to help with a dry mouth. Our dentist can recommend the best mouthwash for you.

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 Tuesday               9:00 am – 5:00 pm
 Wednesday       11:00 am – 8:00 pm
 Thursday             9:00 am – 5:00 pm

 Friday                   9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Dentist in Maylands | Magill | Norwood | St. Peters | Kensington | Adelaide

Proudly serving all Eastern Adelaide suburbs including Maylands, Stepney, Norwood, Beulah Park, Kensington, Trinity Gardens, Payneham South, Evandale, Kent Town, Hackney, College Park, St. Peters, St. Morris, Magill, Adelaide