Dental Checks For Children – Tips for Visiting the Dentist

Below are a couple of Do’s and Don’ts to help make dental checks for children as stress-free as possible!

Dental Checks For Children – Tips for Visiting the Dentist

Do- Role play! – Young children LOVE roleplaying! This is the perfect way to familiarise your little ones with what to expect when they come in to see our dentists for a check-up. Sit on the couch or floor with you your legs crossed and have your child lay with their head in your lap and play dentist! Have them open their mouth wide, count their teeth – even brush and floss while you have them still and then have them do the same for you!

DO- Encourage Healthy Oral Hygiene habits at home. Children learn by watching the adults around them -We brush and floss our own teeth twice a day and we need to do the same with children- from the moment you see that very first tooth popping through the journey of looking after our Oral health has officially begun! For young babies you can clean with a damp face washer and then progress to a baby toothbrush, this will familiarise them with the feel of the brush in their mouth and give you a talking point “Look mummy and daddy have a tooth brush too!” “Let’s clean those toothy pegs!”

DO- Bring your child in for their first visit while they are still young. First visits generally start between the ages of 1 and 2. This first visit is primarily about the child meeting the dentist, possibly having a ride in our cool chair, seeing our cool little mirror, counting teeth and creating a positive environment. We understand that it can be daunting for both parents and the child but we are here to help make looking after teeth as fun as possible. Also keep their visits regular, every 6 months is recommended and this will form a routine for them that they will expect.

DO- Ask us if to enquire if you and your family are eligible for the Child Dental Benefit Scheme through Medicare and for those families not eligible we offer a 10% Student discount. We understand that raising a family is expensive so on top of providing a 10% Student discount we work hard to keep our fees low as well as offer an Interest free payment plan through Zip money if more extensive treatment is required (eg Braces) Maintaining regular check-ups also helps identify areas of concern early. The earlier a potential problem is identified the less expensive the fix is. Prevention is not only better than cure it is cheaper too!

DON’T -Please don’t use us as a punishment or use negative associations with our service! “If you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will pull your teeth out” “If you’re not good you will go see the dentist” “It will hurt” “You will get a needle” are some of the common ones! (I know because my parents used these on me!) If something is constantly being described or referred to as a negative experience, children will latch on to this and it could affect their healthy hygiene habits. Instead use positive phrases “The dentist is a friend of the tooth fairy” “They have a cool tv on the roof while your laying down” “The dentist helps keep our teeth healthy just like the doctor helps keep your body healthy”

DON’T- Don’t show signs of stress yourself! If mum or dad is stressed out the child will sense this and think they have something to worry about. The very first appt should be something that’s celebrated as it’s a milestone for your child growing up. We love working with children and have a few distraction techniques up our sleeves- most popular is the tv on the roof helps as we can have their favourite tv show playing to make them feel a bit more comfortable.

Remember we are here to help make the appointment as easy for both yourself and your child. Any questions please ask us! Click here to contact the friendly team at Polished Dental if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.

Interesting Facts About Wisdom Teeth

Dr. Sang from Polished Dental has written a great article about five wisdom teeth facts – things you need to know about your wisdom teeth. When do they erupt? Do you always need to remove wisdom teeth? Let’s take a look.

5 Wisdom Teeth Facts – Polished Dental

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash
Wisdom Teeth Facts – Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

1. When can I expect my wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth will usually erupt from ~17-23. Of course there are exemptions and we have had patients as young as 14 and as late as 39, so feel free to book in with the team if you have any questions about this or are concerned. You’ll know when the wisdom teeth are coming via soreness (and sometimes swelling) in the gums behind your last teeth.

2. What do I do when my wisdom teeth erupt?

Book in for an examination, where your clinic will do a visual examination and take some x-rays (sometimes you’ll be referred somewhere for a whole mouth x-ray). We need to have a look how close to the nerve your wisdom teeth are and see how many roots there are, and if they have an angle or kink.

3. What’s usually done about wisdom teeth?

There are a few options. They don’t always have to be removed!

– If erupting, there is enough space for them and you can keep them clean enough – we recommend keeping the teeth to chew with. We strongly encourage you come back for routine checkups 
-If they’re unerupted we have a similar situation – sometimes they’re okay to leave there but you’ll need to ensure regular checkups to make sure everything’s okay!
-Sometimes wisdom teeth need to be removed so you’re safer in the long term.

4. How do we remove the wisdom teeth?

This depends on factors which can complicate the process:

  • Difficult access
  • Difficult tooth anatomy
  • Surrounding nerves and sinuses causing difficult anatomy.
  • Hard or older bone around wisdom teeth

This can be done under general anaesthetic at a hospital for day surgery – generally for difficult patients or anxious patients.

Most wisdom teeth extractions occur at an everyday dental clinic just like Polished Dental – we will guide you as to which type is right for you.

At the clinic, it’s a simple process as we plan thoroughly for your extraction – we use local anaesthetic so you don’t feel any pain (sometimes a light sensation).

If you haven’t been sedated for the procedure (most people aren’t) you will be able to drive home. We do recommend to have someone with you if possible. 

5. What do I do after?

The first two to three days will generally result in some discomfort and swelling for 2-3 days afterwards. Some much milder discomfort can continue for 2-3 weeks – most people are back at work after a day or two. We recommend a soft diet in the first 2-3 days (e.g. scrambled eggs, custard). Warm salt water rinses also help keep the site clean.

Paracetamol (Panadol) or ibuprofen (Nurofen) can be used as pain relief. We will tailor an individual plan for patients to ensure know how best look after the healing area for them.

If you’d like to book an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental then please click here

Benefits of Dental Check Up – Dr. Monatana’s Thoughts (ABC News)

Benefits of dental check up is the topic we want to talk to you about today. You may have read the news or seen our recent blog post about the ABC News article – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How often do you need to have your regular dental checkups? Well, as a follow up to our initial article we’re happy to share Dr. Montana’s thoughts on the situation – how often do you really need to go to the dentist? Does this change depending on what your dental history is like, should everyone go every 6 months…what’s the best way to ensure you have healthy teeth without going to the dentist unnecessarily? 

Benefits of dental check up – what’s the scoop?

Today Dr. Montana from Polished Dental has prepared a video to explain the benefits of dental check up more clearly. We’d love for you to take a look and let us know what you think! As it turns out, it very much depends on your own personal situation – some people can go to the dentist yearly, or some who may potentially have some issues should see us at regular intervals so we’re able to monitor your mouth and ensure nothing is getting worse. 

Come in and meet the friendly team at Polished Dental today. Give us a call on 3878 3889 or click here to book a dentist appointment online at our brand new Kenmore location.

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News – What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth?

ABC News - What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth
What’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? (source: @jontyson via Unsplash)

You may have recently read the ABC Science article summarising a recent UK study which found gum disease in patients who went to the dentist for a regular scale and polish and those who hadn’t attended in 3 years and found that there were no differences in gum health between the two groups. So what’s the point in regular visits, you might ask? Why do I need to go to the dentist so often?

The answer is…you might not have to – if you’re lucky! There are certainly patients who have a lower risk of gum disease and can extend their check-up intervals from the routine 6 months to 12 months, but for most a regular check-up is a good opportunity not just for the clean and polish but for us to examine and monitor other potential problems.

At Polished Dental, examples of issues we’re monitoring at your check-up are:

  • Tooth decay
  • The health and seal of old fillings
  • Cracks and wear in teeth
  • The location and movement of wisdom teeth
  • And also screen for oral cancers

So, what’s the value of a regular scale and polish for your teeth? How do you know how often you should come back? After your exam – we’ll leave you with photos of you gums and teeth to let you know what we’ll be monitoring so you can remember between check-ups. We’ll also let you know when we think it’s best for you to come back – and although we love our patients – we won’t get you back too soon if you don’t need it!

What to expect at your dental checkup

What happens during a dental checkup and clean? Today the team at Polished will be breaking down what we are actually doing when you come in for a checkup.

Bib and glasses on, chair laid back.. let the fun begin!

Learn more about Polished Dental’s Checkup process.

Dental Checkup at Polished Dental

Step 1: Clinical photographs and x-rays

At Polished we take clinical photographs at your first visit with cheek retractors and a mouth mirror so that instead of us just bombarding you with numbers, long words and telling you what your oral health looks like to us we can show you! We have found it to be fantastic because a lot of the time people don’t know what is actually happening in their mouth, especially for those harder to see areas. By utilising these photographs of your own mouth and putting them up on the computer screen we can go through each tooth individually and explain to you what treatment you may require, where we are watching, showing you the areas you have said cause sensitivity or pain and what options you have available-it allows you to get to know yourself better and always prompts questions! X-rays are taken because no matter how great our eyesight is or our loops (those funny looking magnifying glasses we wear) we are unable to see underneath the gums, the nerve or under existing fillings. We do not take x-rays unless needed as we do prefer to minimise exposure to radiation as much as we can without compromising our treatment.

Step 2: Soft tissue check

Teeth are just a part of maintaining good oral health- we are also keeping an eye on your cheeks, tongue and muscles around your jaw. The dentist will also do an oral cancer check for you and is looking for any unusual lumps, ulcers or tenderness in and around your mouth.

Step 3: Charting

14distal watch, 28 unerupted, 31 occlusal decay, 47mesial palatal composite… These could be a few of those funny numbers and words you hear us calling out with the dentist is checking your teeth. Each number identifies where in the mouth it is located (upper/lower/front or back) and the surface of the tooth we are speaking about (biting surface/cheek side/in between etc) It is important that we accurately record your dentition (teeth) so that each time you come in for a check up we know exactly what part of each tooth needs watching, what restorations (fillings) you currently have or require, what teeth are missing and the alignment of your bite. That scratching you hear is a sickle probe being used it is a very fine instrument that is ideal for picking up defects in the tooth and for feeling around restorations.

Step 4:  Periodontal check

Our gums are the foundations for our teeth and it is essential that they are kept healthy as well. We use a periodontal probe to measure how healthy the gums are and take measurements so we can refer back to them if gum issues are present or arise.

Step 5: Ultrasonic cleaning

That high pitch vibrating feeling is one that people either love or hate. Plaque and Calculus build up on our teeth and no matter how good our brushing and flossing is calculus needs to be removed by a dentist. The ultrasonic scaler we use vibrates and sprays water which allows us to pick off all of the calculus and remove plaque on top of the tooth as well as just under the gum. A handscaler may be used for more stubborn areas and again is one of those scratching noises we love to associate with the dentist.

Step 6: Prophylaxis- Dentist toothpaste!

We use a product called prophy paste which is a lot grittier than regular toothpaste. It is perfect for removing stains and giving you that amazing smooth clean feeling.

Step 7: Fluoride treatment

We highly recommend fluoride to assist in maintaining good oral health so after cleaning your teeth we apply a fluoride treatment. It is a natural mineral that helps build strong teeth and prevents cavities. In Brisbane we do have fluoride in our water and in our toothpaste but the treatment you receive at a dental check up is a higher concentrate and to optimise its effects you will be asked to not rinse or eat for half an hour.

Step 8: Debriefing

At the end of every appointment we always make sure to go over what has been done at the appointment and to make sure we have answered all of your questions! The number one intimidating thing we’ve been told about visiting us is the fear of the unknown- we endeavour to break that cycle.. We love questions and it makes us excited when our patients are interested about our work and their oral health.

Remember we are here to help make the dental checkup as easy for both yourself and your family. Any questions, please ask us!

 

Naughty or Nice – Impact of Food and Drinks on Dental Health

Can you guess which of these foods are naughty or nice?

 Although some may seems obvious, some of these foods are sneakily a lot worse than the usual suspects. Which ones can you get right?

Naughty or Nice? – Food and Dental Health!

Dairy 

Most dairy is also quite good for you but milk is quite sugary to begin with so there is a ‘naughty’ option here – can you guess which one?

  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese
  • Plain milk
  • Flavoured milk (BAD these have very high amounts of sugar and as a general rule we advise avoiding flavoured milk in your diet).

 Vegetables and Fruit

Fruits and vegetables are generally quite good for your teeth but there’s one big exception – do you know which one it is?

  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruit (Oranges, Lemon, Lime) (BAD – these citrus fruits are highly acidic and will increase erosion and wear on your teeth).

Teas

These seem like they’re probably bad for your teeth, right? Well, not necessarily. They can be naughty or nice. Green and black teas contain polyphenols which can kill/hold back bacteria. You can also get fluoride from your tea depending on your local water supply…

  • Black and green tea
  • Be wary of staining if you drink too much tea/caffeine.

Chips

Seems like the salt and fat would be worse for your body rather than your teeth, but that can be misleading:

  • Potato  Crisps (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • Corn chips (can get trapped between your teeth)
  • One of the main causes of tooth decay as not as obvious as sugars. Even though the crisps aren’t sweet, they do get broken down into sugars.

 Medications

  • Asthma puffers decrease saliva flow so be careful with these.

Chewing gum

Since it helps create saliva it should be good, but a lot of gum on the market has sugar added to it, causing the same old problems for your teeth:

  • Sugarfree extra
  • Sugar gum (BAD – too sugary)
  • PK (BAD – too sugary)
  • Hubba bubba (BAD – too sugary)

Food and dental health – What Next?

Here are a few things to remember if you are going to eat sugary foods :

  • Eat them with a meal. Your increased saliva will reduce the acidity of the sugar.
  • Drink more water, preferably with fluoride in it (if you’re buying bottled water check the label to see if fluoride is included)
  • Brush twice daily, after meals.
  • Floss once daily.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you down at Polished Dental for your next checkup! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about sugar and its impact on teeth, or want to come up with a plan to try and minimise the sugar you’re consuming.