Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage you to contact us with your dental questions as we need to see your mouth before we can give comprehensive advice. The dentists at Essential Care Dental realise there are many common concerns; answers to the most frequently asked questions are listed below.
How often should I visit the dentist?
Six-monthly dental visits combined with good oral hygiene at home will help you to maintain good dental health. You should also call us if you experience toothache, sensitive teeth or have a dental emergency such as a chipped tooth.
How often should I brush my teeth?
You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes – once in the morning and once before bedtime. Brushing removes food and plaque and prevents gum disease. Excessive brushing is just as bad for your teeth as not brushing at all! Be gentle to your teeth: prolonged, harsh scrubbing of your teeth can deplete the enamel and cause damage to the gums.
Does the kind of toothbrush I use make a difference?
You can brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush. An electric toothbrush is often easier to use because of its automated action and the smaller surface area of the brush. If you use a manual toothbrush, hold the brush a 45-degree angle and gently rotate the brush on the tooth surface.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush every 3 -4 months – sooner if the bristles are frayed. You should also replace your toothbrush after an illness.
Why and when should I floss?
When we eat, small particles of food get lodged between our teeth. This is not removed by brushing, so flossing your teeth twice a day is essential for good dental hygiene. If you don’t floss, plaque builds up and contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Correct flossing technique is essential; gently ease the floss between the teeth and move it up and down between the gum and the tooth. For assistance with your flossing technique, visit your Essential Care Dental dentist.
When should I begin brushing my children’s teeth? Which toothpaste should I use?
Brushing your child’s teeth is an essential part of parenting; it establishes good dental habits for their lifetime. You should begin brushing your child’s teeth when they are eighteen months old using an infant toothbrush and specially formulated children’s toothpaste. Children’s toothpaste contains safe levels of fluoride – important for healthy teeth development. If you use a very small amount it won’t harm them if it is accidentally swallowed.
I think I may be grinding my teeth
Everyday stress can lead some patients to grind their teeth whilst sleeping. It’s important to detect teeth grinding early as it can cause stress on the tooth structure resulting in a change in your bite and even cracked teeth. Common signs that you may be grinding your teeth include headaches, neck aches, a stiff jaw and teeth sensitivity. Call your Essential Care Dentist to discuss a bite guard to protect your teeth.
Why do you need a mouthguard?
Sporting accidents are one of the most common causes of dental injury. Every year thousands of people, including children, are treated for dental injuries that could have been avoided or minimised by wearing a protective, custom-fitted mouthguard.
A custom-fitted mouthguard will greatly reduce the risk of damage to your teeth and jaws by absorbing any impact during contact sports. A mouthguard should be worn whilst playing and training for any sport where there is a possibility of contact to the face. These sports can include hockey, netball, baseball, basketball and even skateboarding and skiing.
We at Essential Care Dental, with support of The Australian Dental Association (ADA), strongly recommend wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard to ensure maximum protection. Over-the-counter mouthguards (boil-and-bite type) do not provide enough protection against injuries to your teeth, mouth or jaw, as the fit is generally very poor and result in excessive movement in the mouth.
We can provide a mouthguard that is:
- Accurate fitting
- Allows you to speak clearly
- Won’t shift or fall out
- Won’t restrict your breathing
- In your favourite team colours!
Other mouthguard tips
- Have your mouthguard checked at your regular dental check-up to make sure it fits correctly and offers maximum protection. You may need a replacement if your new, secondary adult teeth have come through or if your mouthguard has been damaged.
- Keep your mouthguard clean and store it in a rigid container, away from heat to ensure it maintains its shape.