Dental Information

MANUAL VS POWER TOOTHBRUSHES— WHICH IS BETTER?

This is more a personal choice and there are advocates for both sides, and there are pros and cons of each. Manual toothbrushes are as effective at removing plaque as power brushes if used correctly, and power toothbrushes seem to be popular with younger children. Just make sure not to press too hard if using an electric toothbrush as it can wear away the enamel.

THE RIGHT WAY TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH

Make sure you apply enough toothpaste, and gently move the brush in a circular motion around your teeth and gums. You should aim to spend at least 2 minutes cleaning your whole mouth including the inside, outside and biting surfaces of each tooth.

HOW MUCH TOOTHPASTE (FLUORIDE) SHOULD I USE?

From the time that teeth first erupt (about 6 months of age) to the age of 17 months, children’s teeth should be cleaned by a responsible adult, but not with toothpaste. For children aged between 18 months and 5 years, teeth should be cleaned twice a day with toothpaste containing less fluoride (500ppm). A small pea-sized amount should be applied to a child-sized soft toothbrush and children should spit out—not swallow and not rinse. This should still be done under supervision and children should not

Wisdom Teeth

HOW WILL I KNOW IF I NEED MY WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?

If you’re experiencing pain at the rear of your mouth or are finding it difficult to open your mouth fully, it’s possible that your wisdom teeth may be impacted under the gums. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed however, and sometimes they just need a little help in coming through the gums. Your dentist will take an x-ray to see what is happening and will recommend next steps after that.

IS THE PROCEDURE DONE IN A HOSPITAL OR IN THE DENTIST’S CHAIR?

The majority of wisdom teeth removals are done in the dentist’s chair, and only the more complex cases will be referred to an oral surgeon in a hospital. If performed in the chair, your dentist will use a local anaesthetic and the procedure will be relatively pain free.

RECOVERY AFTER WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL

For the first few days after removal you will probably experience minor bleeding and some swelling and over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol can help to alleviate the pain. A diet of soft foods such as mashed potato and soup is advised and you can slowly start to reintroduce other foods after a few days.

Mouthguards

DOES YOUR CHILD PLAY A CONTACT SPORT?

We can provide them with custom-fitted mouthguards for a fraction of the regular prices. Ask reception for more information.

WHY SHOULD I WEAR A MOUTHGUARD?

A custom made mouthguard effectively protects your teeth and jaws from damage associated with playing sports.

Caring for your mouthguard

The best way to look after your mouthguard is to rinse it in soap and warm water and allow it to dry after every use. It’s also a good idea to use a mouthwash from time to time to disinfect it and always store in the plastic container it came with.

How long will my mouthguard last?

Mouthguards last a considerable amount of time if looked after correctly. For children it’s recommended that they have their replaced every 12–18 months to ensure that the mouthguard keeps up and is correctly fitted as they grow.

Fillings

What is a filling?

A filling is the most common way to restore a damaged tooth after decay. Your dentist will initially remove the decaying tooth material, will clean the area and then fill the cavity with a filling material.

What materials are used in fillings?

The most common fillings are generally made from amalgams (combinations) however fillings can also consist of gold, porcelain as well as plastics and composite resin materials.

How long do fillings last?

This really depends on the material used in the filling. As a general rule, gold fillings last the longest from 15–30 years, silver amalgams can last between 10–15 years, and composite resins around 5–7 years. This depends on how they are looked after and will vary for individuals.

Orthodontics

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialised dentist who focuses on ensuring that the teeth are aligned and biting correctly. They may use corrective surgical procedures as well as braces and aligners to help straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment.

How much do braces cost?

This can vary depending on a number of factors and your orthodontist will be able to give you an idea of expected costs after the consultation. Adolescents are the most common group of people to receive them, and a standard 18 month treatment can cost anywhere from $4,000 up to around $9,000 (some of which may be claimable through Private Health Insurance, Medicare and concessions).

Do braces hurt?

The actual process of putting the braces on you doesn’t hurt, although your teeth and gums may feel sore and sensitive for a week or so afterwards and after each tightening. However, this is a small price to pay for having perfectly straight teeth for the rest of your life!

Mouth Cancer

What is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer or oral cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. In Australia, over 900 new mouth cancers are registered each year accounting for about 6.5% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia.

Where does mouth cancer occur in the mouth

Mouth cancer can affect anywhere in the mouth, with high risk areas being the tongue, lips, skin of the cheek as well as the back of the mouth.

What are the early signs of mouth cancer?

These may include a white patch, red or other coloured patches, a lump, or an ulcer that may even be painless.

Mouth cancer should be identified as early as possible

Mouth cancer screening and early detection of oral cancer can increase treatment outcomes and survival. Students and staff routinely undertake mouth cancer screening as part of a comprehensive examination.