As we age, we tend to see a decline in our oral health, but many of these oral health issues are not related to ageing. Instead, they’re often caused by the culmination of oral health problems over time. This means that with the right oral care when we’re younger, we can prevent oral health issues when we’re older!
Getting older takes its toll on our oral health. Cases of dental decay, gum disease, missing teeth, and so forth all increase as we age. And it makes sense: as we expose our teeth to more wear and tear, the protective elements of our mouth such as your tooth’s enamel and gum line naturally wear away. However, if you can keep your teeth in good condition when you’re young, you’re much more likely to avoid a plethora of dental issues when you’re older.
Investing in your oral health while young is important for your health as you age, especially if recommended oral care such as brushing or flossing becomes difficult in old age. It’s not uncommon that older adults require help with their oral care, or an oral care plan from a dentist.
Our team at Somerset Dental can help with your oral health as you age. We’re experts in preventative and restorative dental treatments, and can aid you in ensuring that your oral health doesn’t suffer from age. Contact Somerset Dental on 4648 0909 and get the advice you need today.
Our children should start visiting the dentist before they even have a full set of teeth! It seems a little odd considering they have little teeth; however our teeth are one of the first things we develop in the womb. Our teeth are there even before we see them.
The best time
The best time to bring children in for their first dental care appointment is by their first birthday and regular appointments should start from between two and four years. First dental care visits are about getting your children used to the dentist and the dental chair. We show them a toothbrush and show you and your children how they can start using it. A child’s first dental care visit is as much for the parents benefit as it is for the children.
It’s important to visit the dentist from such an early age because as soon as we have any teeth we are at risk of contracting tooth decay. Dental care is all about prevention and as they say prevention is better than cure. At Somerset Dental care we recommend you and your children have your teeth cleaned every six months. Combined with a dental x-ray every two years, check-ups ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided.
Dentists are ‘scary’
Dentists have the age old stigma of being ‘scary’; this is because people have had a negative dental care experience. As a result, people avoid visiting the dentist due to their bad experiences. The longer we leave our dental care appointment, the more chance there is for a build-up of dental care issues, such as tooth filling, root canal, tooth extraction and more.
We want to prevent your children having such a negative experience from the get go. Going to the dentist every six months for teeth cleaning is said to prevent tooth decay tenfold. Many people who have had regular check-ups from an early age have still avoided having a tooth filling to this day. By going to the dentist regularly and from an early age, the dentist will be a very positive experience.
Baby teeth are important too
It is just as important for children to visit the dentist for baby teeth as adult teeth. Problems and tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to serious oral issues for adult teeth, which is why it is important to visit a dentist for dental care from an early age. Children with tooth decay in baby teeth will either require tooth extraction or tooth filling and this can be an unnerving experience. Just by having a regular teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment this can be very easily avoided.
At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that allows eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. If you are unsure whether your child may be eligible or unsure when is the best time to bring in your children for an appointment, call the Somerset Dental Team today on 4648 0909.
Dental checkups are essential in keeping your teeth, gums and mouth sparkling clean! While the procedure for checkups and cleans varies from dentist to dentist, the following are the standard steps you can expect during every visit.
The Dental Checkup
1. Dental History
Checkups start with routine questions regarding your dental history. If you’ve had the same dentist for a while, they may ask you if you have noticed any changes in your teeth/gums or if you have experienced any pain or discomfort since your last visit.
2. Examining Teeth, Gums and Mouth
Next, the dentist will perform a non-invasive examination inside your mouth. Using lights, mirrors and probe tools, they will search your teeth and gums looking for sores, cavities and any early signs of gum disease.
They may also examine your bite and look for problems with fillings, crowns or bridges. Your dentist may also take an x-ray of your teeth if you haven’t had one for around 2 years or if other problems are evident.
3. Teeth Charting
Ever heard a dentist recite numbers while they are poking around inside your mouth? This is called teeth charting! Teeth charting involves recording information about each tooth and its changes. By keeping track of the condition of your teeth, your dentist can make better recommendations for your long-term dental health.
4. Recommendations and Advice
Once the checkup is over, your dentist will discuss any problems needing treatment, such as cavities.
Depending on your dentist and on the severity of the issue, the dentist may fix the problem during the checkup and clean or they may advise you to make a follow-up appointment. Minor cavities, for instance, that only require a small, white filling, may be treated on the day.
The Dental Cleaning
After the checkup is complete, your dentist (or sometimes a dental hygienist) will clean your teeth using various instruments and tools. Professional cleaning will help prevent bad bacteria from thriving on your teeth and causing decay.
1. Removing Plaque and Tartar
The hygienist will use scraping tools to remove any built-up plaque and tartar that has hardened on your teeth. This is a gentle and tender process and should not cause you much discomfort. If you do feel any pain, however, be sure to alert your dentist straight away.
2. Cleaning & Flossing
Once the tartar and plaque are removed, the dentist will brush your teeth using a special electronic toothbrush and some dental toothpaste. This creates a nice smooth surface on your teeth that plaque and bacteria can’t easily penetrate. Your dentist will then floss your teeth to get into all the little crevices that your toothbrush can’t reach.
3. Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is the final stage of dental cleaning. Flouride is a natural mineral that strengthens your teeth, helping to prevent future cavities. It will be applied to your teeth for about 30 seconds; depending on the fluoride used, some dentists may ask you to spit and rinse, while others will ask you to leave the fluoride on your teeth for a short period of time (e.g. half hour).
Remember, a good dentist will generally provide a soft and comfortable clean, so there shouldn’t be any pain or major discomfort during cleaning. A great clean can also leave your mouth feeling fresh and healthy!
For optimal oral health you should visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleans. In the meantime, don’t forget to maintain the health of your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day at home!
Our friendly dentists can provide gap-free checkups and cleans in the Macarthur and Camden areas. To book an appointment, contact us or phone 02 4648 0909.