Why should I book in for a check-up?
These check-ups allow us to promptly identify any detrimental changes and act accordingly. Ideally, this preventive action will mean no need for more drastic and invasive corrective procedures later. If you have neglected booking regular check-ups and your oral health has suffered, it’s never too late to reverse these effects. At G Dental, we offer a range of treatments, from natural-look fillings to root canals. These restorative treatments will help you gain back your mouth’s original functionality, and you will be back at the “maintenance” stage of caring for your smile (regular check-ups). For example, a filling now could prevent a root canal or tooth extraction later.
If you have children, you should try and book an appointment as soon as their first teeth erupt. Children follow by example, and if they notice their parents or caretakers avoiding dental visits, they may follow suit later in life. If children learn early in life that dental visits aren’t a source of pain or fear, it may help with compliance which could prevent further complications.
What causes tooth decay?
A large number of factors can influence tooth decay. For example, sugary or acidic foods, misaligned teeth, improper brushing or poor oral hygiene in general can all play a role. Plaque is the enemy to your oral health, constantly forming on your teeth and gums. It is made up of acids and erodes away at your tooth enamel. If you consume foods with a large amount of sugar in them, you are encouraging plaque build-up.
Consequently, if plaque is not removed regularly it may harden into tartar. Tartar gives plaque an easier surface to adhere to, and may be the cause of your teeth looking off-colour as it is porous and absorbs stains more easily. Tartar can only be removed by your dentist or oral hygienist during the scaling process.
How can I prevent tooth decay?
Tooth decay is easily prevented by following a good hygiene regime. If your family has a history of poor oral health due to genetics you should mention this to your dentist as they will be able to help you with a suitable and effective plan. Generally brushing twice a day combined with flossing and a mouthwash at least once a day will assist in maintaining good oral health and fresh breath. Regular dental check-ups will ensure your oral health regime is on track and that your teeth and gums are plaque and tartar free.
If you experience any pain or discomfort, or lose an adult tooth between your regular visits, please make an appointment as soon as possible. The earlier action is taken to rectify these situations, the safer and more effective a treatment will be.
General dentistry FAQs
What happens at your dental visit?
Any dental check-up will usually be performed in two parts: namely, your examination and then a professional clean, both of which are critical in helping you to maintain and improve your oral health. During your dental check-up, we will thoroughly examine your mouth and check for any signs of gum disease, cavities and tooth decay as well any tartar and plaque. If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up unchecked, they can cause permanent damage. We will also assess your gums by measuring the distance between your teeth and gums.
What should you do between each dental visit?
The time between your visits to us for a dental check-up and clean is almost as important when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy and there are numerous ways that you can maintain your oral health at home. Of course, there are some basic rules such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. Using a good mouthwash can also help to control the growth of bacteria in your mouth and will keep your breath nice and fresh. Staying away from processed sugars and other sugar-laden food and drink will also help to keep your teeth free of cavities and decay.
What should I take to a dentist visit?
- Make a list of your concerns
- Bring along your insurance details
- Be sure to carry your medical and dental history
- Make a list of the medication you are currently taking
Should I arrive a few minutes before my appointment?
Yes, if you are able to do so. Arriving about 15 minutes before your appointment could allow you to settle in and get comfortable with your surroundings. This tends to slightly eliminate the stress of a dentist visit especially if you are nervous.
Why should I be using a toothpaste with fluoride?
The fluoride in toothpaste can help to improve the strength of your teeth, which helps them to be more resistant to attacks from sugar and acid. It also offers protection from tooth decay.
What is the correct way to brush my teeth?
To obtain excellent results from brushing, angle the toothbrush at 45-degrees and brush the front, top and back of the teeth in a circular motion making sure your brushing softly. If you brush too hard, you can cause the gums to recede as well as possibly damaging the enamel on the teeth.
Do I really need to floss?
It is still a huge point of frustration for many dentists that so many patients don’t floss as regularly as they brush their teeth despite it being common knowledge that flossing plays a major role in the quest for healthy teeth and gums. There is just simply no way around the fact that flossing is imperative when you are clearing the remnants of food. When these morsels are left over, they hide between your teeth and under your gum line and cause the formation of plaque and tartar. They can even cause spaces to form in your gums and over time these will cause your teeth to loosen.
What does it mean when my gums bleed when I brush and floss?
Bleeding gums are generally the first signs of gum disease known as gingivitis. It is also a sign that you should visit your dentist as soon as possible before the condition worsens. Swollen, agitated and bleeding gums are usually a consequence of poor oral care that leads to an excess plaque on your teeth and gums. Plaque is made up of nearly 300 types of bacteria that attack your teeth and the protective tissue around your teeth, resulting in gum disease.
If left untreated, gum disease could lead to:
- Sensitive teeth
- Bleeding and inflamed gums
- Tooth loss
- Bad breath
- Discoloured teeth
Tips to prevent gum disease:
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush
- Brush twice a day for two minutes
- Floss once a day
- Rinse with warm, salt water between meals
- Have a professional cleaning done at least once in every three months
Is clenching your teeth a sign of anxiety?
Clenching your teeth or grinding them is a sign of stress and it can wear your teeth down over a period of time. Most times you aren’t even aware that you’re grinding your teeth, as it often happens while you’re concentrating or asleep. This can cause facial pain, headaches, broken teeth, fillings and worn-down teeth which can lead to tooth loss. If you start experiencing sensitivity when biting or have sore gums, it might be time to consult with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to check your teeth for signs of teeth grinding, as well as coordinate with your GP about how to handle stress.
Why should I get x-rays?
Dental x-rays assist your dentist in visualising any diseases or decay of the teeth and surrounding teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, or bone degeneration that may otherwise remain invisible during a regular oral exam. This early detection method may be able to help pin-point any potential issues in their early development.
In children, x-rays can assist in decay prevention and early treatment, determining if the primary teeth are being lost fast enough for the permanent teeth to erupt properly, and to determine if there is enough space in the mouth for all of the teeth.
Early detection can potentially save you money, time and discomfort.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are found right at the back of your mouth and are the last of your molars to appear, erupting anywhere between your late teens and early twenties. The problem with wisdom teeth is that they are often misaligned, which causes crowding or damage in your teeth, jaws and nerves. It may be the case that they don’t break through, which can cause infection, swelling, pain and illness which may be cause to have them removed. It’s quite a simple procedure, however it will vary from case to case and this will be determined during your initial consultation.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Some people go through their whole life without their wisdom teeth giving them any grief, however, wisdom teeth erupting in perfect alignment are rare.
An extra set of molars is often too much for our jaws to handle, causing your other teeth to be pushed around to create space. By rubbing against other teeth, they could cause cavities, as well as jaw soreness. This is assuming they erupt at all —some wisdom teeth are impacted or get stuck altogether as they can grow sideways or on an angle. If your wisdom tooth is having trouble growing this may lead to inflamed gums, and can even promote sinus pain and congestion.
When wisdom teeth removal is mentioned, a lot of people stress that it will require a hospital visit. This is not always the case. Your dentist will look at your x-rays and advise you if having your wisdom teeth removed in the clinic is an option.