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Dental FAQ

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Why should I go to the dentist?
Many people do not see their dentist regularly. They only go when they experience problems.

While they may think they’re saving money, it often ends up costing much more money and time.

This is because many dental issues do not have any symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process.

One example is tooth decay. Tooth decay often does not hurt until it gets close to the sensitive areas of the tooth.

It is common to encounter a patient with a large cavity who has never felt pain or even slight sensitivity.

The dentist can usually recognise a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms. Early detection can help you prevent undergoing root canal treatment.

Why should I floss, is brushing not enough?
Flossing helps reducing bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria thrive in plaque, which can be removed by flossing.

Brushing your teeth removes some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria from hard-to-reach areas such as between the teeth and along the gumline.

That’s the bacteria hiding in the spaces between the teeth. If you do not floss your teeth, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth.

After some time, it hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing your teeth regularly.

Only the dentist can remove tartar from your teeth. Ask your dentist to teach you the proper way of flossing.

How do I prevent cavities?
Brushing your teeth for at least two to three minutes each time helps prevent the cavity from building up.

It takes that long to eliminate the bacteria that erode the tooth enamel. Brush gently. It is enough to remove bacteria and plaque.

Also, do not forget to floss at least once a day. Flossing is the only way to remove bacteria between your teeth.

Control your . There is sugar in almost any treat you eat including candies, fruits, crackers and chips.

Be mindful of foods that stick to your teeth like raisins and peanut butter. They can supply food for the bacteria eating into your teeth.

Try to minimise the times during the day when sugary treats are eaten and brush your 30 minutes after.

If you can’t brush after a meal, rinse your mouth with water. It can help remove food from your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can help.

Chewing promotes the saliva flow, which fights plaque. Don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly.

Why does the dentist take X-rays?
Several diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be detected when the dentist examines the mouth by visual inspection only.

An X-ray examination may show:

  • Areas of damage between the teeth or below restorations
  • Infection in the bones
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscess or cyst
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Some types of tumours

Detecting and treating dental issues early can save time, money, and unnecessary discomfort.

X-rays can detect damage to oral structures that is not visible during a regular dental exam.

Your dentist will assess your requirement for X-rays based on the conditions found during examination and consultation. Any questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist.

What is fluoride and why is it essential to dental health?
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in foods and water.

Examples of natural sources of fluoride are brewed tea, canned fish, cooked kale and spinach, apples, and skim milk.

Some city water contains fluoride. Drinking fluoridated tap water will help you acquire fluoride.

A lack of exposure to fluoride places heightens the risk for dental decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria in your mouth.

Studies have shown that children who drank fluoridated water from birth had less dental decay.

Fluoride can reverse early enamel decline and help prevent osteoporosis, a disease that causes deterioration of the bone.

Talk to your dentist to determine if you’re getting the daily amount of fluoride you need.

What are cavity-fighting sealants?
Dental sealants are thin films painted on the chewing surface of the molars and premolars. Dental sealants are barriers protecting your teeth from bacteria.

Sealants are proven effective with both adults and children but are most commonly used with children.

Even though sealants are about half the cost of fillings, only a small percentage of school-aged children have sealants on their permanent teeth.

Ask your dentist whether sealants are the right choice for you or your children.

I have a knocked out tooth, can it be saved?
Oral injuries should be seen by a dentist immediately.

If you have a knocked out tooth, these tips may be able to save it:

  • Rinse the tooth to remove dirt or debris
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth
  • Don’t attempt to replace the tooth into the socket because this could cause further damage
  • Go to your Yeronga dentist. Successful re-implantation is possible only when the procedure is performed well
  • If it is impossible to keep the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth and soak it in milk.
What causes morning breath?
Bacteria found in the mouth break down the food particles, which produce sulphur compounds. It is these sulphur compounds, which give our breath a bad odour.

Your saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food particles. Your saliva also helps dissolve the foul-smelling sulphur compounds.

When you are sleeping, saliva production in your mouth decreases. Since sleeping lowers saliva production, most people have morning breath.

Chronic, long-term mouth odour can be a sign of more severe illness. Visit your dentist if this concerns you.

What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Sensitivity toothpaste is very helpful in treating sensitive teeth. After weeks of use, you may feel decreased sensitivity.

Acid-containing foods such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, as well as tea and soda, can increase tooth sensitivity.

If you do not get comfort by brushing gently and using desensitising toothpaste, see your Yeronga dentist.

Compounds can be applied in-office to your tooth root to reduce – if not eliminate – the sensitivity.

High-fluoride containing homecare products can also be used to help reduce tooth sensitivity.

What is a periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the gums and its supporting bone structure, which if ignored, can cause permanent jaw bone damage and tooth loss.

An advanced stage of periodontal disease shows inflamed gums receding from your bone and teeth.

Other symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pus coming from gum pockets around the teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sore gums
  • Bleeding gums

The treatment of early periodontal diseases can be performed in-office. However, advanced stages may require surgery.

Periodontal disease can be prevented and treated by seeing your Yeronga dentist and dental hygienist regularly and following recommended homecare treatments.

How long will my whitened teeth stay white?
If you whiten your teeth, the duration of time it lasts will vary.

If you smoke, drink highly staining beverages like red wine or coffee, or consume other acid-containing foods, your bright smile may start to yellow more quickly.

In general, whitened teeth can stay white up to a few years. Even though the results can fade, touch-ups can be done to regain original lustre.

What should I do about bleeding gums?
Usually, bleeding gums are a symptom of the start of periodontal disease or gingivitis.

But people sometimes stop brushing as frequently and effectively because of the pain and further bleeding it causes.

However, when gums are swollen, brushing can help reduce the inflammation.

More importantly, you should see your dentist and have a periodontal screening performed to determine the level of the disease present and the best treatment course to apply.

Why should I use a mouthguard?
Mouthguards can prevent injuries to your face and teeth, especially when playing any sports.

Do what you can to protect your smile and your overall health. The best mouthguards are custom-fitted by your Yeronga dentist. This is important if you wear braces or fixed bridges.

Commercial mouthguards can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. They are inexpensive but also less effective.

Either way, rinse your mouthguard with water or mouthwash after using. With proper care, it should last longer.

I already have dentures. Is it still necessary for me to see the dentist?
Visits to the dentist cover more than just checking your teeth.

While patients who are wearing dentures no longer have to worry about tooth decay, they may have concerns with loosely fitting appliances or oral sores.

Annual visits to the dentist are recommended.

During these dental visits, an oral cancer screening and head and neck exam will be done as well as an evaluation of the existing appliances.

Regular visits can help you avoid more complicated problems.

Join the Ria Dental Family!

Ria Family Dental in Yeronga offers comprehensive care for your short and long-term dental care needs. We provide an honest, judgment-free environment in which we practice convenient, comfortable, and conservative care designed to maximise your oral health and smile!

Yeronga dentist serves local communities in YeerongpillyAnnerleyTarragindiRockleaFairfieldTennysonGracevilleChelmer, and Moorooka.

Our dental clinic is at 451 Fairfield Rd. Yeronga Station and bus stops are nearby, and we offer convenient storefront parking.

For your convenience, we offer early evening hours on most weeknights.

For more questions, call us on 0451 359 356 or book your appointment online. We are located at 451 Fairfield Rd in Yeronga.

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