PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY FAQs
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the practice of caring for your teeth, gums and bite so that they remain healthy. By brushing and flossing daily along with regular professional cleans and dental check-ups, this can help to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and the wear and tear of your enamel.
At The Dental Studio Stirling, our preventive and proactive approach to dental care is specially designed to not only protect your teeth and gums, but to also equip you with the tools, knowledge and understanding you need to enjoy good oral health for life.
How often should I get dental check-ups?
What is the cost of a dental check-up?
How often should I bring my child in for a check up?
Is flouride safe?
Yes. Fluoride is a natural mineral which can be found in air, rock, soil, water. It is commonly found in toothpastes and in teeth-cleaning gels because it helps to prevent and repair any damage caused by acid on the surface of the tooth and protects against tooth decay. The use of fluoride has been a major factor in the significant decreased incidence of dental decay and tooth loss in Australia since its introduction in the 1950’s.
What does plaque look like?
Plaque is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth every day. It contains millions of bacteria which react to the sugar in the food and drink we consume to create acid that eats away at our enamel. Over time, our enamel breaks down, eventually leaving a cavity (or hole) in the tooth.
Plaque that is not removed through daily brushing and flossing will harden into tartar, which when left untreated, causes red, swollen and bleeding gums. This is called gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease.
What type of dental floss will be most effective for me?
If you’ve ever been to a supermarket and felt a little overwhelmed looking at all the different types of dental floss, then you are not alone. To help you cut through the clever marketing, it’s important to remember that there are generally only two main types of floss – multifilament (also known as nylon or silk floss) and monofilament (made from a type of rubber or plastic).
Of these two types, nylon floss is the most common and traditional type that you will most likely come across at your local dentist, while monofilament floss is a more modern invention. Unlike nylon floss, monofilament floss doesn’t rip or tear and as such, you may find that it glides easier between your teeth.
If mint doesn’t appeal to you, floss can come in a range of different and interesting flavours and thicknesses. The thickness of the floss is quite important and a personal choice depending on the spacing of your teeth and what is most comfortable for you.
You may also come across the terms, ‘waxed’ or ‘unwaxed’ when searching for the best floss for you. Monofilament flosses do not need wax, while traditional nylon floss uses it to help the floss glide in and out of the spaces between your teeth with ease.
At the end of the day, it really does come down to a personal preference as to what dental floss you use but ultimately, the best type of floss is always the type that is being used.
What is the difference between dental floss and dental tape?
How can I prevent Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily. In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine, visiting the dentist regularly for a check-up and a scale and clean is essential in order to protect your teeth and gums, and to identify and treat any early signs and symptoms of gum disease.
How is gum disease treated?
Along with brushing twice a day and flossing daily, the best way to treat and reverse gum disease is to have regular scale and cleans and check-ups at your local dentist. During your clean, our hygiene therapists will remove bacterial plaque and tartar from above and below your gums as well as polish your teeth to help heal and reverse any gum disease. A clean surface allows your gums to reattach to your teeth.
In certain cases of advanced gum disease or periodontitis we may refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist) for their expert opinion and work in conjunction with them to treat the condition and prevent tooth loss.
While it might be tempting to try and treat gum disease at home or with natural remedies, the best way to determine your optimal form of treatment is visit your local dentist for a thorough examination.
If you’re worried that you might have gum disease, simply give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment to meet with one of our friendly dental professionals today.
Are there different types of Gum Disease?
How can gum disease affect the rest of my body?
While gum disease is known as one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss and other oral conditions, it can also have a detrimental impact on other parts of the body.
As the mouth forms an integral part of our immune system, gum disease has been linked to inflammation in other parts of our body, increasing our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, premature births and other serious health issues.
What can make gum disease worse?
Although the common cause of gum disease is the build-up of plaque on our teeth, there are other contributing factors which can have a detrimental effect on our gums. Some of the main offenders include:
Smoking – While tobacco is linked to many other serious illnesses including cancer, lung disease and heart disease, it also increases your risk of gum disease. Studies have shown that tobacco can constrict the blood flow to our mouth which creates a breeding ground for bacteria to develop. It also interferes with the functions in our body that protect us against disease and promote healing.
Stress – Along with being linked to other serious medical conditions such as cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes, stress has also be a contributing factor of gingivitis and periodontitis. When we stress, it makes it difficult for our body to fight infection and inflammation including gums disease.
Medications – Some medications such as anti-depressants, antibiotics and certain heart medicines can give you dry mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay, infection and inflammation of your gums.
Hormonal changes – A woman’s gum health can be impacted by the different stages of her hormonal life cycle including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. During these times, the surge or drop of hormones can lead to increase gum sensitivity and inflammation.
Malnutrition and Obesity – When our diet lacks important vitamins and minerals, this can inhibit our ability to fight of infection and inflammation in our body, including in our mouth.
Other diseases – Other serious medical conditions such diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can interfere with our body’s immune system, causing or worsening inflammation of the gums.
Genetics – Unfortunately genetics can play a role in gum disease which means some people are simply more prone to gingivitis and periodontitis than others.
What is gum cancer?
Oral cancers can occur anywhere in the mouth from the lips, tongue and gum all the way through to the throat, salivary glands and sinuses. At every appointment, our trained dental professionals take the time screen for any symptoms of oral cancer but you should contact your dentist or doctor straight away if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Sores or swollen lumps or bumps anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
- The development of red, white or speckled patches in or around your mouth
- Any unexplained bleeding
- Numbness or pain in your mouth, including on your tongue
- Pain in one or more of your ears without hearing loss
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw
- A lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- A rapid or dramatic shift in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
SPLINTS / MOUTHGUARDS
How long will my mouthguard / splint last?
How do I care for my mouthguard / splint?
To ensure that your splint and/or mouthguard last for as long as possible, it is important to keep it fresh and clean. Each morning, clean your splint with a toothbrush and then rinse under cold water. While no tooth paste is required, denture cleaning products such as Polident or Sterident may also be used. When not in use, we recommend storing the splint in its plastic container (provided by us when your splint is ready to take home) and out of direct sunlight to avoid bacterial growth and malleability.
When travelling with your splint, always ensure that it is dry before placing it in its container. Keep the container clean by regularly washing your case with hot, soapy water to prevent contamination and possible illness or oral infection.
What type of splint is best for me?
How long will it take to get my custom mouthguard / splint?
How much do mouthguards / Splints Cost?
What is a tooth fissure?
How are fissure sealants applied?
Do fissure sealants hurt?
How long do fissure sealants last?
Who is allowed to do fissure sealants?
How do I know if my child or I need fissure sealants?
The best way to find out if you or child needs fissure sealants is to come in for a check-up. While fissure sealants are more typically associated with children and adolescents, adults are also able to experience the benefits of dental sealants. Bacteria left in fissures leads to acid build-up which can cause tooth decay so it’s important to have them sealed no matter your age.
To get you or child’s teeth checked by one of our experienced dental professionals, simply give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment online today.
Should adults get dental sealants on their teeth?
Of course. While fissure sealants are more typically associated with children and adolescents, adultsare also able to experience the benefits of fissure sealants. Bacteria left in fissures leads to acidbuild-up which can cause tooth decay so it’s important to have them sealed no matter your age.
Are there any side effects for fissure sealants?
It is very rare for fissure sealants to cause complications or any unexpected side effects; however you should notify your dentist if you experience any of the following:
- Any tooth or gum discomfort during or after the procedure
- Any hypersensitivity to the composite-style resin or materials used during the procedure
- Any pain or discomfort as a result of an altered bite due to the thickness of the sealant
What are the advantages and disadvantages of fissure sealants?
Like white fillings, fissure sealants help to prevent your back molars from developing bacteria and acid build up which can cause tooth decay. As they are a preventive treatment, dental sealants are cheaper than traditional fillings, however they are not permanent. Depending on the person, most fissure sealants last approximately five years or longer but will wear down over time. Although they certainly do their bit to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, daily brushing and flossing, along with regular checks and cleans are still necessary to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy.
To find out more, simply give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment with one of our friendly dental professionals to have your child’s teeth checked today.
How much to fissure sealants cost?
Do you have any before and after shots of dental fissure sealants?
CONTACT US TODAY
If you’re ready to experience The Dental Studio Stirling difference, please give us a call on 08 9440 4455 or request an appointment to meet with one of our friendly dental professionals today.