These are some of the frequently asked questions our dentists and hygienists are asked at Canberra Dental Care about dental treatments.Iif you questions isn’t answered here please call or email us and we will happily help you.

What’s the difference between a hygienist and a dentist?

At Canberra Dental Care, the dentists and hygienists work closely together with a view to provide the best outcome we can for our patients. Dentists are responsible for performing a full thorough dental examination of all the soft and hard tissues in your mouth. This includes interpretation and discussion of any x-rays which are taken. Hygienists are specifically trained and skilled in cleaning around the teeth. This helps to maintain the surrounding gum and bone which are the foundations for our teeth. Gum or periodontal disease which is not treated efficiently can progress to bone loss and loosening of teeth over time, potentially leading to tooth loss in severe cases. The hygienist will also spend time educating our patients on oral hygiene techniques at home which will help you to maintain optimum oral health.

I’m pregnant. What does that mean for my teeth and dental treatment?

During pregnancy, you may notice some changes in your mouth. Due to hormonal factors you may find your gums bleed more than usual. It is important not to let this deter you from brushing or flossing. It is also a good idea to maintain regular dental and hygiene appointments during pregnancy. Dental treatment is completely safe but usually we will defer placing or removing amalgam fillings or taking x-rays unless in an emergency. Nausea and sickness during pregnancy can result in an increase in acid levels in your mouth. If you are sick it is best to wait 40 minutes before you brush your teeth to avoid acid damage. It is also important to be aware of any cravings which are high in sugar or acid which are damaging to your teeth.


When should I start taking my child to the dentist?

From 2 years of age onwards, it is good to bring your child along when you have your own dental appointment. This early exposure will help to acclimatise your child to the environment. We often give young children a ride in the chair and have a quick look at their teeth. This helps to create a fun experience from an early age. Once they are around 4-5 years of age it is good for them to attend at least annually for a full check of their teeth.


When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

It is important to start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily as soon as the first baby tooth erupts. A thin smear of age appropriate fluoride toothpaste is recommended.


Why do I have to go to a specialist for some treatments?

In some instances a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to achieve the best outcome possible. Certain treatments or clinical situations may be out with the scope of practice of your general dental practitioner and we may recommend seeking specialist treatment or advice.


Should I floss my teeth?

Flossing once daily is essential in order to remove plaque from the areas in your mouth where your tooth brush is unable to access. In some cases, where there is sufficient space we also recommend using inter dental brushes. If there is no cleaning between the teeth there is a higher risk of developing cavities and gum disease due to increased plaque accumulation.


How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes each time. Ideally we recommend using an electric toothbrush with a timer. It is best to spit out but not rinse with water after brushing. This gives you the maximum benefit from the toothpaste.

 

I’m apprehensive about the dentist. What should I do to prepare for my appointment?

It is understandable that people sometimes feel apprehensive or anxious regarding dental appointments. It can be helpful to schedule your appointment early in the day and it is important to eat meals as normal before you come in for treatment.  We offer inhalation sedation (also known as laughing gas) at Canberra Dental Care. This type of sedation can reduce anxiety about the dentist. Some people find bringing headphones and listening to music can act as a good distraction technique. Often it is helpful to discuss any concerns with your dentist or hygienist before commencing treatment. We will always try to do everything we can to make the experience as comfortable as possible.


Why is fluoride good for my teeth?

Fluoride is the key ingredient in toothpaste which helps to strengthen your teeth. Fluoride becomes incorporated into the enamel in your teeth, making them more resistant to cavities and acid attack. In instances where there may be an early cavity/decay and loss of hard mineral from the enamel surface. The regular presence of fluoride can help to re-mineralise and hopefully reverse the process.  This may prevent the need for a filling.


How often should I see the dentist/hygienist?

For most patients we recommended they attend for a dental check-up and hygiene appointment on a six monthly basis.  In patients who maintain excellent oral hygiene and are low risk for problems, we can increase the time period between recalls. However, this is something you should decide in consultation with your dentist. In higher risk patients, we may suggest you attend for hygiene appointments more frequently until your dental health has stabilised.

Why are sugary drinks bad for my teeth?

Sugary drinks and foods are particularly bad for you teeth as the natural bacteria present in our mouth feed on the sugar and produce acids. Over time, repeat exposure to these acids will cause mineral content to be lost from the tooth allowing a cavity to develop. Soft drinks including sugar free varieties are usually very high in acid. Over time this will soften and dissolve the enamel increasing the risk of decay, sensitivity and weakening of the teeth.