General Dentistry means looking after the overall health of your mouth and teeth. It’s about giving your mouth a good check-over, seeing if there are any problems and fixing things that are not quite right. If we need to, we will refer you to a specialist for further work, but at Warragul Dental Care we’re able to treat nearly all your dentistry needs under one roof…we’re like a one-stop shop for teeth.
When it comes to looking after your teeth for life, preventative care is the single most important thing you can do. ‘Preventative care’ is quite a fancy term for what most of us are doing every day, like cleaning our teeth and flossing. But on top of that it’s really important to have regular check-ups with a Dentist and/or hygienist.
It is during these appointments that we give you a thorough clean and polish, and detect any mouth problems. Early detection can help avoid costly and painful treatment for things like decay and gum disease. Preventing the main cause of these problems comes down to one simple thing: controlling plaque and calculus (hardened plaque or tartar).
What should I expect during my check-up appointment?
What seems like a simple check-up appointment is actually a really detailed examination of your oral health. Think of it as a bit of ‘me time’ for your teeth, they get your full attention for once. In one short appointment we can get right up to date with everything that’s happening in your mouth and offer advice and treatment designed specifically for you. Here are some of the things we will cover:
Diagnostic services. The bit where you open wide.
During this bit we:
- Review your history and update your records.
- Make a note of any changes in your medication and/or physical condition, as these may impact your oral health
- Check your teeth for decay
- Inspect all your ‘restorations’ (filings or crowns)
- Check your gums
- Check your biting patterns
- Chat to you about any treatment that can be used to improve the way you chew
- Chat to you about any cosmetic procedures which can improve your smile
Preventative Services. The messy part with the goggles and spitting.
During this part of your visit we will:
- Scale your teeth and remove the plaque and calculus
- Polish to remove the tooth stains
- Polish all porcelain crowns and silver fillings
- Apply fluoride if necessary
- Chat to you about any further specialist treatment you might need, for example an endodontist or oral surgeon.
Education Services. Where we talk and you take notes.
We know it’s frustrating when your Dentist talks to you and you can’t reply, so at the end of your visit we’ll always make time to sit down and have a chat. Here are some things we might talk about:
- How to brush your teeth and floss correctly. It’s never too late to learn!
- How your diet can affect your teeth
- Any treatments we’ve recommended
- Any cosmetic work you’re interested in
- Concerns, issues or niggles that are on your mind
- The weather/holidays/your pet dog…
How often do I need to visit a Dentist?
We recommend a check-up every 6-12 months with a Dentist.This is only a rule of thumb, if you have any ongoing issues we may recommend more frequent visits.
Visiting the Hygienist
The hygienist plays a crucial role in the preventative care of your teeth. Our highly trained hygienist is a superhero when it comes to giving you sparkling clean teeth…which will make you feel great, and, more importantly, give you healthy strong teeth.
We recommend visiting the hygienist every 3-12 months depending on your gum health (we can discuss this with you at your appointment). The main aim during your appointment is to remove all the nasty tartar build up on your teeth. Tartar is left over food debris which over time builds up on your teeth– a bit like barnacles on the bottom of a boat. It we don’t clean it all off it can cause inflammation of your gums which can lead to gum disease, shrinking of your gums and loose teeth. The effects of gum disease are irreversible. In a nutshell, if you clean well at home then you’ll need less hygienist appointments…there’s an incentive for you!
As a parent, the start of your child’s tooth-journey starts with you. And after watching all those first teeth and second teeth coming through, we’re sure you’ll be motivated to keep them as clean and healthy as possible. Teeth are the cause of enough sleepless nights as it is!
Looking after your children’s teeth from a young age has so many great outcomes it’s hard to list them all. For a start we hope it will mean never having a fear of the Dentists, because we’ll just be the teeth-cleaners. But more importantly it will mean your kids get to keep their own teeth, for life. That means no nasty treatments and a low-cost, low-maintenance life for your children’s teeth.
At Warragul Dental Care our aim is prevention. We want to work with you and your family to create great dental habits that will prevent problems later in life. We think strong, healthy teeth are great, and we want your child to agree.
Your child’s first visit
Any ‘first’ can be daunting for you and your child. Each child is different and while one child might float through their appointment with smiles and giggles, another might be anxious and upset. We understand this and will work with you to make sure your child’s first experience with us is positive, stress-free and fun! We’ll get your child involved in counting their teeth with the Dentist and offer you a free goody bag to take home. You may also be eligible for the Medicare Child Benefits Scheme which will assist with the cost of appointments.
We recommend you pop into the Practice for a visit before your first appointment. We can give you a guided tour and introduce you to the team. This will help you and your child become familiar with the surroundings. A child’s first dental appointment is usually when they are 3-4 years old, although we always advise popping in to see us if you’re concerned about anything before that age. A child’s first orthodontic screening (for possible braces) is usually around 7 years old.
When it comes to the appointment you can expect us to:
- Talk to you about your child’s oral health including development, teething, bite (how your child’s teeth come together), any oral habits such as sucking
- Discuss the impact of diet on your child’s teeth
- Explain the use of fluoride, and make sure your child’s teeth are getting enough
- Let your child sit (or ‘ride’!) in the dentist chair for an examination
- If the chair isn’t too appealing we’ll examine your child’s mouth while he or she sits on your lap facing you. The Dentist will sit in a chair opposite you. You can then slowly lower your child’s head into the Dentist’s lap so he can examine the teeth.
- Give you advice on how to care for your child’s teeth, including a detailed lesson on brushing and tips on which toothpaste to use
- Explain what will happen in your child’s mouth as they grow up
- Organise a follow-up care program
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
It’s never too young to introduce basic tooth cleaning concepts to your kids and luckily most toddlers love to copy their parents…so just let them follow you. Before you know it the daily teeth clean will be a normal part of the routine. By age three or four your child should be able to brush his or her own teeth…with a little help of course. And at some point your child will be able to brush their teeth on their own. This will start at a different age for each child but most children under eight will need some guidance.
When brushing your child’s teeth we recommend:
- Brushing at least twice a day (morning before breakfast and before bed)
- Set a fun timer and brush for two minutes, focus on the chewing surfaces and back teeth
- Use a pea-sized amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste and remember to rinse and spit after brushing
- Don’t share brushes between children, or let them use your brush
- Check that your child’s brush is suitable for their age and they can handle it easily
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every three or four months, or when it starts to show wear.
It’s so easy to have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude when it comes to our teeth. Regardless of age though, there’s no need to suffer in silence with tooth pain. As we get older it is even more important to keep a close eye on our teeth and gums. Early detection of problems can help to avoid unnecessary treatment and help to maintain your natural teeth.
We’d actually love to be seeing more of our senior patients. The fact is that with improvements in healthcare and living conditions we’re all living that little bit longer. And with a focus on keeping our natural teeth, rather than removing them, we’d like to work with you to develop an ongoing teeth maintenance and preventative plan. This will include:
- Preventing tooth decay through the application of fluoride gel
- Regular checks and professional scaling to prevent gum disease
- Mouth cancer checks
- Checking your teeth for early signs of tooth decay or cracks that, if left untreated, can lead to broken teeth and expensive repairs
What particular dental issues affect senior patients?
The team at Warragul Dental Care keep a close eye on all our patients. We treat you all as individuals, which means we’re aware of the different dental problems that can affect each age group. For our senior patients we keep an eye on the following:
- 1960’s dentistry tended to focus on large fillings on multiple teeth. This means that these teeth are now at a higher risk of breaking
- It sounds too obvious, but older patients have had their teeth for longer…which means more wear and tear
- Senior patients have teeth that are weaker from having fillings and being worn down. We work to keep those teeth doing their job for as long as possible
- Older patients have more cumulative damage to their gums, in fact over 90% of the population have signs of gum disease
- More senior patients will have gum recession which can make the area sensitive, and make the exposed tooth weaker softer and more at risk of decay
- Patients who have partial dentures are at a higher risk of tooth decay, as the dentures hold more plaque and debris which affects the teeth sitting next to the dentures
If you’re a senior and would like to chat to one of our expert clinicians about how to keep your teeth as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, call today on 5623 5588. Your teeth are for life, and we want to keep it that way.
If you’ve been putting off dental treatment, or sitting at home suffering in pain because of a fear of visiting the Dentist, then it’s time to give the team at Warragul Dental Care a call. We don’t just understand your fears, we’re expertly trained to talk you through them and provide solutions to get the treatment you need.
If you’re coming to us as a nervous patient you can be assured that we’ll take everything at your pace. We won’t rush you into any treatment until you’re ready for it. In fact, the first thing we’ll do is just talk. We’ll chat about your dental history, your pain, the concerns you have and anything else you like. You’ll have chance to get to know the team and feel comfortable in your surroundings before we progress to any treatments. After our initial chat we might find some cues that will help you relax, such as music, or a picture. We’re happy to work with anything that will help make your visit stress-free.
If necessary, Warragul Dental Care has the expert skills to offer sedation, also known as ‘happy gas’. This is a great non-invasive solution that helps relax you for treatment whilst staying awake. Shortly after treatment you’ll be able to leave and resume all normal duties, including driving and going back to work.
If you have any nerves about your dental visit please let the team know when you call us. We’ll put aside time in your appointment to talk, plan your treatment and take the stress out of your treatment.