Teeth Cleaning and Prevention

By February 1, 2021February 8th, 2021News

Patients looking for teeth cleaning Pascoe Vale or surrounding areas need look no further than Coburg Dental Group. Our experienced team of 5 dentists and 6 dental hygienists will help you to maintain your healthy teeth and smile.

Teeth Cleaning and Prevention 

We all know that we need to brush and floss our teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We now have the scientific evidence that show that maintaining a healthy mouth which is free of inflammation such as gum disease is important for our general health as well. An unhealthy mouth has been linked to issues such as cardiovascular disease, kidney issues, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other serious illnesses.

The first Line of defence: Home Care

Good oral hygiene by you at home is the most important line of defence against tooth decay, gum disease, oral disease and discomfort. Good oral hygiene consists of three simple habits:

  • Regular brushing– You must brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day. And it helps to develop a systematic pattern in brushing to ensure that you brush every surface of every tooth. Spend about two minutes evenly on all teeth. Use a soft-bristle manual brush or an electric toothbrush, applying a pea-sized amount of a recommended toothpaste. Many of our patients get a better result with an electric toothbrush.
  • Flossing– A lot of plaque can develop in between the teeth where the tooth brush bristles cannot access. So brushing will not be effective on the surfaces between adjacent teeth. You need to floss to clean these areas. There are several different types of flosses which are available as threads or tapes, with or without holders, in dispensers. These may be simple or pre-waxed. For some patients with wide gaps between their teeth, we may also recommend the use of specially designed interdental brushes which come in a variety of sizes.
  • Rinsing– To get rid of any bacteria which brushing or flossing have left behind, or if it is not possible to brush and floss your teeth after a meal or a snack, for example when you’re not at home, it is useful to use water or a proprietary mouthwash to rinse your mouth vigorously. In addition, rinsing with antiseptic mouth rinses at bed-time will also help prevent gum inflammation.

Our dentists or hygienists will show you how to effectively brush, floss and rinse and which products are best for you.

There are also specific things which you need to know for babies, children, teenagers and as we reach adulthood. Here are some helpful tips.

Babies

As soon as the first tooth has come through, teeth cleaning should commence.  We recommend starting with an approved and age appropriate toothbrush, without toothpaste,from the start to get the child in to the right habits from an early age. Therefore we don’t recommend wiping teeth over with a damp face washer, gauze or a clean finger instead of a toothbrush.

Toddlers and Young Children

From the age of 2 years, regular toothbrushing with an age appropriate brush and toothpaste should begin twice a day– once after breakfast and once before bed. A pea-sized amount of a children’s toothpaste with a lower dose of fluoride should be applied to the brush. The toothbrush should have soft bristles on a small head with a handle which is easy to grip. It is the parent’s responsibility to brush their children’s teeth for them at this age and this should be done in a circular motion, ensuring you do your best to clean all tooth surfaces.  Children should be taught to spit out and avoid swallowing excess toothpaste. Also, avoid rinsing with water to prevent the quick removal of the toothpastes active ingredients’ protective benefits.

Up until the age of 7-8 years, we recommend that parents continue to brush their children’s teeth. As children get older, they may wish to brush their own teeth. This is terrific but we have found that children miss areas and are generally too quick when brushing. However it is best that they are supervised and assisted until the age of 7-8 years, as they often haven’t developed the patience and manual dexterity to brush their own teeth effectively until this age.

The big issue- too many sugars

 Snacking on foods with added or high amounts of sugar, between meals, should be avoided as much as possible. Drinking soft drinks and fruit juices should also be avoided. Be careful with fruit juices because many of these including freshly squeezed juices can often have a lot more sugar than a piece of fresh fruit. As a suggestion, it is better to snack on fresh fruit, vegetables with dips, nuts and unsweetened dairy products such as yoghurts. Drinking water rather than sweetened drinks is best especially in warmer weather and after playing or sport, because dry mouths and dry teeth are especially vulnerable to acids and sugars which create the perfect environment for tooth decay. Hidden sugars such as those found in  tomato sauce can also be a problem. It is important to read food labels and find foods which are low in sugar. We recommend to set a target of less than 5-10% sugar.

Sugar should be an occasional treat and not a major part of every meal.

Older Children

From the ages of 8-9, the first teeth are lost and the adult teeth start to erupt. Your child may switch to a recommended adult toothpaste at this time.  However as previously, it is still recommended to spit out excess toothpaste while avoiding rinsing after brushing. Children may brush unsupervised provided that they maintain a consistent and high level of brushing efficiency. This means that they actually brush their teeth so parents need to be vigilant and keep an eye on the children’s dental home care.

Also around this time the dentist can advise whether your child needs orthodontic treatment. At Coburg Dental Group, Dr Matthew Siebel provides most of our orthodontic care. He has many years of experience and has taught orthodontics in Sydney as part of a post-graduate training program. Sometimes a referral to an orthodontist is required for complex cases or if that is a parent’s preference. At other times it may be suitable to simply keep an eye on the situation and see how the teeth and jaws grow and develop during early teenage years. As a general rule, our preference is to commence orthodontic treatment early because treatment time can be reduced, the child patient is more compliant and the treatment fees are considerably reduced for the parents. No referral is required to see Dr Siebel so to make an appointment for an assessment, please call (03) 9386 1805.(Quote Blog 16012021 when you make an appointment and the initial assessment consultation fee will be free)

Children and adolescents playing contact sports should have custom mouthguards fitted to protect the teeth from accidental damage. It is also important that sports drinks which are all high in sugar content, be avoided after exercise as the acidity and sugar of such drinks can cause lasting damage to adult teeth. At the very least, drink water before and after having these sports drinks.

General dietary advice remains the same however it is important to continue to monitor what your teenage child is consuming. As teenagers become more independent, we have found that they start consuming more unhealthy or junk foods and drinks without you even knowing. Tooth decay rates often increase in these teenage years.

From the age of 10-12, children may begin flossing between their adult teeth. This can be quite challenging so we are happy to assist and teach your child flossing techniques. We can also advise about suitable flossing aids, including special holders or powered flossing devices.

Adults

We recommend to brush twice a day and floss daily, preferably before your night-time brushing. Flossing aids, interdental brushes and powered flossing devices are available commercially to assist you if manual flossing is found to be difficult. We are happy to advise you as to what products may be most suitable for your requirements.

The recommendations of a healthy diet are the same as childhood. Between meals, avoid snacking foods which have added sugar, and keep soft drink and other sweetened beverage consumption to a minimum. Whenever possible drink water and snack on fresh fruit, nuts and dairy products. Water consumption during your day is important irrespective of whether you spend your day outside or in an air-conditioned home or office. If you are thirsty, you are probably dehydrated already. Drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day is an average daily requirement. A good rule of thumb is that any foods, which are good for your teeth, are generally good for your body, and vice versa.

As for children and teenagers, participants in contact sports should wear mouthguards to protect the teeth. Avoid sports drinks if possible, especially if consumed when dehydrated.

Some medications may cause your mouth to become dry, especially as you get older. This is called xerostomia. This can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease significantly. It is important that you mention any medications to us at your dental visit so we can best advise you about caring for your mouth in such situations. In some situations, saliva substitutes and special toothpastes are recommended also.

Many adults like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. However, we strongly advise against excessive drinking and consumption of alcohol that exceeds health experts’ guidelines. Be especially careful with mixed alcoholic drinks (eg: rum and cola drinks or cocktails). These can be a two-pronged attack on your teeth with the alcohol drying your mouth while the acids and sugars of the added soft drink or juice attack your teeth. It should also be noted that excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time is linked to the onset of oral cancer.

Smoking is highly discouraged as it is destructive to your mouth and teeth. Smoking lowers the protective mechanism of oxygen in your mouth allowing bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease to overrun the good bacteria in your mouth. It also prevents your gums from healing properly after they’ve been damaged and stains your teeth. Finally it dramatically, increases your risk of oral cancer. We encourage any regular smokers to consider quitting.

In dentistry, as in all branches of healthcare, prevention is BETTER than cure! So if you’re looking for teeth cleaning Pascoe Vale, you can make an appointment at Coburg Dental Group by calling (03) 9386 1805

Preventive Dental Treatment provided by the dentist and hygienist. 

At Coburg Dental Group, we want to ensure that all our patients enjoy excellent oral and physical health for as long as possible. That is why our dentists and hygienists focus on providing high-quality preventive treatment. Some of the preventive treatments offered  are:

  • Checkups – At each regular and periodic check-up visit, our dentists will thoroughly assess your dental health. We will perform a detailed clinical examination of your teeth, gums, jaws, jaw joints, face, the head and neck. In addition, we will also look at the x-ray images of your teeth, if required, to check for t cavities which may not be visible to the naked eye.  These visits are usually scheduled every 6 months but can be more frequent depending on your needs.
  • Oral Cancer Screening – During a clinical examination, we will perform a cancer screening examination to check for the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. This helps in an early detection of oral cancer. The chances of recovery from cancer treatment are higher when it is detected in the early stages. Every year we detect a few cases of previously undiagnosed oral cancer.
  • Teeth Cleaning – One of the main reasons behind the development of gum disease is the adhesion of plaque and calculus (tartar) on the teeth. Despite our best efforts with home dental care, there are always little areas which we can miss, so that plaque and calculus builds up. Our hygienists perform professional teeth cleaning to remove this plaque and calculus to reduce, or stop the progression of periodontal (gum) disease. So if you are looking for teeth cleaning Pascoe Vale or nearby, Coburg Dental Group is the right place for you.
  • Prophylaxis or Fluoride Therapy – The professional application of a fluoride treatment has been shown to be very effective in preventing or stopping the progression of dental cavities. We apply fluoride gels or varnishes on the teeth of most of our patients particularly those who are at a high risk of developing teeth cavities.
  • Oral Hygiene Instructions – During check-up visits, our dental hygienists educate our patients and their families regarding the best oral hygiene practices and dietary habits which are required for healthy teeth and gums.
  • Pit and Fissure Sealants – During check-up visits of children in particular and adults with a high incidence of dental decay in their back teeth, the grooves on the top of the back teeth can be sealed with a resin sealant to prevent plaque bacteria and sugars from accumulating in these area and hence prevent tooth decay developing. This is a pain-free and cost effective treatment which lasts for many years.
  • Preventive Orthodontics – Preventive orthodontics involves the use various appliances or plates in children to eliminate factors which can cause the misalignment of teeth. There are situations where this early treatment can be the only orthodontic treatment which is required and so avoid the use of braces.
  • Mouthguards – Mouthguards are custom fitted plates which are usually worn over the top teeth during contact sports. A dentist fitted mouthguard fits really well and is smaller than an off-the-shelf mouthguard.  It is also easier to breath with a dentist fitted mouthguard.
  • Night Guards – A night guard or occlusal splint is similar to a mouthguard but is made out of a harder material. We make occlusal splints for our patients who have a habit of excessively grinding or clenching their teeth particularly when they sleep. The night guard helps to prevent the teeth from excessive wear and sensitivity because of the grinding.

The old saying that “prevention is better than cure” still holds true today in the case of your dental health. If you look after your mouth at home and visit us regularly for check-ups, then you can prevent virtually every dental problem. So, what is better, spending your hard-earned money on expensive dental treatment because of your neglect, or preventing dental problems from arising in the first place? At Coburg Dental Group, we strongly believe in the second option. Therefore, it is our priority that you enjoy excellent dental health with preventive dentistry being the main emphasis. So, call us on (03) 9386 1805 to make an appointment and let us take good care of your smile and oral health.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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