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Oral Health for the whole family

A good oral hygiene regime for the whole family is important to prevent many dental problems from starting or developing. At your regular check-ups our dentists will perform a thorough examination, but there are steps the whole family can take to keep their teeth and gums healthy. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends organising a check-up for all children before their first birthday. At this appointment, we allow the child to become familiar with the dental surgery. We make this visit fun so that they grow up feeling comfortable visiting the dentist for regular check-ups. These are our recommendations for the whole family: Children aged 0-18 months: Adult to clean without toothpaste Children aged 18 months to 5 years: Twice daily cleaning with childrens fluoride toothpaste. Children aged 6 years plus: Twice daily cleaning with pea sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste. Adults should supervise childrens brushing until age 8. Attend regular check-ups as recommended by your dentist. We may recommend specific products for patients of all ages depending on their needs. Our dentists are more than happy to discuss any concerns you have regarding different dental products at your appointment. Call us on (02) 96262033 to schedule an... read more

Dentistry and Pregnancy

Dental treatment during pregnancy has been a topic of some controversy in the past. I have found that many patients avoid visiting the dentist whilst pregnant for fears over any danger to their baby. Often these concerns involve radiation exposure, medications prescribed and anaesthetics. We recommend visiting our practice for a general check up whilst planning a pregnancy. Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, however there are certain procedures we will avoid. Therefore, if any complex treatment is required we can arrange this before pregnancy. During pregnancy the change in hormone levels can cause a variety of dental issues. Most commonly ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ where the gums are more sensitive to any source of irritation such as plaque and calculus. It’s actually more important to come for regular cleans and checks around this time to help avoid these issues. It is more beneficial to your baby to prevent any serious dental infections that could lead to fever and septicaemia if left untreated. Whilst most dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, we avoid more complex procedures mainly because it can be uncomfortable for our patient to lie in the chair for long appointments. Check ups, fillings, cleans are all very safe during pregnancy. We avoid taking X-Rays unless absolutely necessary, however, the radiation dose is very minimal if these are required. There are many different types of medications and anaesthetics used in dentistry. The majority of these are completely safe for pregnant women, however, there are a few that are not suitable and these are not prescribed to our pregnant patients. Don’t be afraid of dentistry during pregnancy, we are... read more

What to do about sensitive teeth and worn tooth enamel

Do you suffer from sensitivity when eating cold food or drink? You may have “abrasion lesions”. This occurs when the outer protective enamel is worn away by inaccurate brushing techniques and force exposing the softer inner part of our tooth structure, known as dentine. The dentine is much more porous than the enamel meaning cold or sweet food or drinks will directly stiumulate the underlying tooth nerves. The twinge you feel is just a way of your nerve telling you that it is irritated. This commonly occurs on part of the tooth closest to the gum margin as the enamel is thinnest there. As enamel and dentine is worn away by toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste, a concave cavity forms. If the cavity is not treated, it can further progress to the nerve resulting in a toothache. Additionally, it is also a defect that retains food and bacteria leading to a poorer oral hygiene. There can be other causes of dentine exposure. These include tooth grinding; gum recession and gum disease. Your dentist can review your teeth on your next appointment and advise you on the cause of the problem. If its inaccurate tooth brushing techniques, your dentist will demonstrate the correct brushing strokes. If you are a grinder, your dentist can make you a night guard called a splint to protect your teeth from being worn away. If you suffer from gum disease, then it is important to treat your gums so that your gum and bone can remain strong and healthy. Recently I had a new patient who’s abrasion cavities were so deep that I could see a blush... read more

When should my child have orthodontic treatment?

Parents can often be wary and confused about orthodontic intervention for their young children.  At a general check up, a dentist will check the patients’ bite and development relative to their age.  Some orthodontic problems can be identified at a very early age and can benefit from preventive treatment. For example, if a baby tooth needs to be removed before it is due to fall out, a space maintainer device can be made to ensure adequate space for the erupting adult tooth.  This can help to prevent crowding of the adult teeth. Our dentists can also discuss options for managing habits such as thumb sucking.  After the age of around 3 this habit can contribute to orthodontic problems.  There are several strategies we can discuss to help children break this habit and prevent problems later on. Generally orthodontic problems can be identified at around age 9-10.  Sometimes we recommend starting treatment at this age.  By starting early it can help to simplify later treatment. All children are unique and we pride ourselves on tailoring a treatment plan to each individual patient we see.  What works for one child, may not be suitable for another! Lastly, remember that it’s never too late to consider straightening teeth and there are options for patients of any age.  We are happy to discuss treatment options for the whole... read more

Children’s Preventative Dentistry

A good oral health starts with looking after your child’s baby teeth. A common misconception is that baby teeth are replaced so therefore they don’t require as much care. However, baby teeth that are rotten often have more permanent effects than you expect. Decayed baby teeth are usually lost before their natural exfoliation time. This can lead to incorrect eruption of permanent adult successors, which often means the child will need extensive braces correction later on. Additionally, decayed baby teeth indicate poor oral hygiene and that can have permanent damage on adult teeth when they erupt. There are many ways to prevent decay, such as fluoride application, fissure sealants and regular dental exams. Fluoride is a substance found in toothpaste and in tap water. When applied on teeth in lower concentrations such as those found in dental settings, they can add minerals to teeth and reverse the mild effects of decay. Our teeth have numerous natural imperfections such deep pits and fissures, which bacteria can invade but toothbrush and toothpaste cannot reach.  The bacteria in the depths of these pits and fissures can start creating a hole that later become a decayed cavity. Fissure sealant is filling those pits and fissures with a material so that they become flat. Regular dental check up is vital in having good oral health.  Our dentists will examine for any cavities and if they require fillings. Sometimes x-rays may need to be taken to determine if there is any decay in between the gaps.  Our dentists will also evaluate how well your child is brushing their teeth and any areas require more focus.... read more

Children’s Dentistry

At Complete Family Dental, we believe achieving good oral health begins from a young age. This is why we take special care and attention in making all our child patients comfortable. We understand it is not unusual for children to feel anxious at going to the dentist so our friendly dentists specifically tailor every dental exam to each individual child. There are many ways to make the child feel more comfortable. An example is a method known as “tell-show-do”. Our dentists will explain and demonstrate what each dental instrument does before using it. This way, your child can have a better understanding of the exam and will be more prepared for any treatment. Our dentists are well trained in treating paediatrics patients and have extensive experiences in managing dental anxiety. We also have happy gas if the child requires something to make them feel extra comfortable. Read More: Children’s... read more

Pree Teenage Orthodontics

PRE TEENAGE  (INTERCEPTIVE) ORTHODONTICS Dr Hardman’s long experience and expertise in the field of orthodontics dates back  over 24 years. A revolution in diagnosis and technique has occurred in that  time but it is apparent the majority of dental GPs still have little if any training in the skills required to assess a child for dental and facial development at a time when it is absolutely vital to correct abnormalities before they get out of hand. This is pretty fundamental to your expectation and their right to an attractive face and smile. We diagnose and treat to a plan from 8 years of age this is rare in the industry. By 4 years the skull base and facial bones have reached 60% of adult growth By 12 years this same growth of the facial skeletal system has reached 90% Thus to wait until 90% of a deformity is established before instituting orthodontic treatment demonstrates a profound lack of understanding and our duty of care for the children entrusted to us. It also drastically increases costs Successful treatment of growth discrepancies involve all the bones of the facial skeleton from the eyes down. The ideal dimensions  (parameters) can be measured vertically, horizontally and front to back in angular and line measurements called cephalometrics. The discrepancies linked to growth changes are then identified and can be and should be treated well before 12 years of age. As dental GPs we should be capable of basic orthodontic diagnosis and treat the majority of cases before the teenage... read more

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked Tooth Syndrome We’ve all experienced an ache in a tooth before when we’ve bitten on something hard. But did you know that you may be experiencing cracked tooth syndrome. This occurs when a crack forms on your tooth, usually back teeth, and biting pressure forces the crack to open therefore irritating your nerves. The ache or discomfort you feel is usually sudden and not long lasting but it is a result of your nerve telling you that something is wrong. If a crack is not treated in time, it can progress and the tooth will fracture leading to a filling or worse, it can irritate the nerves so much that eventually you’ll need a nerve (root canal) treatment.  This exact thing happened to a lady who came in to see me last month. She was experiencing an ache in a back tooth when eating but never acted on it until the ache suddenly intensified and now she needed a root canal treatment and a crown to protect the tooth. The trick is to treat the crack while it’s small and before it reaches the nerve. Your dentist can help diagnose if the ache you are experiencing is caused by cracked tooth syndrome.  During the comprehensive examination, your dentist may use a probe to feel for any cracks or any periodontal (surrounding gum and bone) defect, they may take a few radiographs, or do other special tests. There could be other reasons causing the ache and your dentist will help identify and treat the problems. You can reduce the risk of cracking your tooth by avoiding chewing hard food... read more

Pre Teenage (Childrens) Interceptive Orthodontics

By 4 years the skull base and facial bones have reached 60% of adult growth. By 12 years this same growth of the facial skeletal system has reached 90%. If we wait until 90% of a deformity is established before starting children’s orthodontics the time & difficulty for correction is much greater. Successful treatment of growth discrepancies involve all the bones of the facial skeleton from the eyes down. The ideal dimensions (parameters) can be measured vertically, horizontally and front to back in angular and line measurements called cephalometrics. The discrepancies linked to growth changes are then identified and can be treated well before 12 years of age. As dental GP’s we should be capable of basic  childrens orthodontics and treat the majority of cases in less time and pain before teenage... read more

What is flurosis & how to clean your teeth

Fluorosis Everyone gets stains on their teeth from the type of food and drinks we consume. Most stains can be easily removed at the dentist by a scale and clean, polishing, or at times, tooth whitening procedures may be required. But if after all these avenues have been exhausted, and the stains still remain…what then? If this is the case, you may have fluorosis of your teeth. Fluorosis occurs when fluoride from toothpaste is ingested during tooth development, usually before the age of 10. This leads to defects in enamel formation (the outer layer of tooth crown) that subsequently absorbs stains. This type of stains differ from superficial food/drinks stains in that they are usually deeply embedded and cannot be removed by surface cleaning. A patient came to see me complaining of her fluorotic teeth. The stains prevented her from smiling or even wearing lipsticks as it might draw attention to her teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways around it. Microabrasion alone or combined with tooth bleaching, conservative composite resin restorations or porcelain veneers are common treatment options. Generally, if staining is less deep, microabrasions with tooth bleaching will suffice but the deeper staining may require composite resin restorations or veneers. For my patient, we achieved an aesthetic result with conservative composite resin restorations that were placed on her 4 upper front teeth. Needless to say, she was very happy with the results and couldn’t wait to buy her first lipstick in many years. During your next visit at the dentist ask how to remove those annoying... read more

Dental Accidents With Children

Accidents happen all the time, especially in toddlers and children.  Things such as a bump to the chin or a fall can damage teeth and sometimes the supporting bone and gums.  Trauma to the teeth at any age can cause a wide range of dental problems. It is crucial to organise a dental review as soon as possible after an accident involving the dentition.  Our dentists are able to minimise the risk of further damage and advise on the best treatment options for each circumstance. Here are some guidelines for what to do if a tooth is avulsed, or ‘knocked out’. 1)     If a child has lost a baby tooth, do not attempt to replant this tooth.  Arrange a review at the dentist. 2)     If a child or adult has lost a permanent tooth, it should be replanted immediately if possible.  This requires some confidence but the sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the chance that it will survive in the long term.  If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with milk/saline and avoid touching the root and replant the tooth.  An emergency appointment will be needed with a dentist as soon as possible. 3)     If replanting the tooth is too difficult, arrange an immediate dental appointment to have the tooth replanted.  In the meantime, the tooth should be stored in milk or saliva.  The tooth should not be placed in tap water. If an accident has caused any nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness, the patient will need to be taken to the hospital emergency department immediately for assessment. Finally, don’t panic!  Help is always on hand... read more

Chrildres Orthodontics – A good result

This week I finished treatment for a ten year old little boy whose lower jaw protruded outside his upper teeth. He at first looked as if he had a jutting chin. For children with this problem starting treatment at 13 or 14 years if too late in terms of conventional childrens orthodontic treatment. At first he was not particularly cooperative or willing but I managed to persuade him of the benefit of what I was doing. We used a functional appliance (plate) over a period of eight months and altered his front bite to the extent that he now has a normal facial profile. He and his mum were absolutely delighted with the result, as am I. The moral of this story is, “Don’t wait too long, get your child checked at age eight or... read more

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