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Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do about bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are usually a symptom of gingivitis or periodontal disease. Effective cleaning is often the best course of treatment, both at home and professionally by a dentist or hygienist. Brushing may be a bit painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing will remove any plaque present and help restore periodontal health and reduce inflammation, and the bleeding will cease. Tartar that cannot be brushed off will need to be cleaned by a dentist to assist in treating the gingivitis. Bleeding gums can also be a symptom of other underlying health issues, such as diabetes, or HIV, or a side effect of medications taken. It is important for you to visit your dentist and have a periodontal assessment done to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue.
How often do I have to go to the dentist?
We recommend that most people should visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a professional clean. This is because dental caries (decay) can develop within that time, and early diagnosis will be best to prevent more complex issues. Calculus (tartar) can also build up on your teeth in a few months. This can only be cleaned off professionally at the dentist to prevent gingivitis. Some patients at high risk of gum disease or decay may have to attend more frequently. Talk to our dentists about how often you need to schedule your visits.
How can I prevent cavities?
Brushing your teeth twice a day, especially before bed, is paramount to preventing dental decay. Take note to brush every surface of the teeth systematically in a gentle circular motion to remove plaque and any food debris. Brushing should take 2-3 minutes minimum. Flossing is also important in removing food/plaque in hard to reach places. Minimising frequent sugar intakes during the day will help reduce the likelihood of dental decay. Sugary drinks are especially harmful to teeth enamel. After a meal, having a drink of water or rinsing your mouth can help neutralise acids and remove sugars from your teeth. Chewing gum can also help stimulate saliva flow which is a natural buffer to acids in the mouth. Regular dental check-ups and cleans are also necessary to maintaining optimal dental health.
Can I go to the dentist when I’m pregnant?
Yes, it is still important to have regular dental visits when you are pregnant. For some women pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease, so it is essential that optimal dental health is maintained. Most dental procedures can be safely performed during pregnancy, although non-urgent dental x-rays may be postponed even if the risks are very low. This is to minimise unnecessary radiation to the foetus, so be sure to tell your dentist if you are pregnant.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Sensitive teeth is usually a symptom of gum recession, gingivitis or dental decay. Dental decay and gingivitis are diseases that should be managed by a dentist. If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity due to gum recession, where the gums have started to recede leaving the root dentine exposed, toothpaste for sensitive teeth may help reduce the symptoms for some patients. If symptoms persist see your dentist for further advice. There are dental products containing concentrated fluoride that your dentist may recommend to help with sensitivity. In some cases dental restorations may be indicated to alleviate severe symptoms. Ask our friendly staff for more information on sensitive teeth.
What can be done to brighten my smile?
Tooth whitening can lighten the colour of tooth enamel and dentine. There are different types of teeth whitening, including in-chair whitening, take-home kits, and internal bleaching for discoloured teeth. Studies have shown that the proper use of dentist-monitored, whitening systems can enhance your smile and confidence. You will need to discuss with your dentist which teeth whitening option will work best for you.