Dental Care FAQs

What is plaque?

Plaque is deposits of bacteria that form on the tooth surface. It collects where the teeth and gums meet. Regular brushing and flossing is essential as plaque build up is the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay.

Why is fluoride in toothpaste so important?

A toothbrush alone isn’t able to reach plaque between the teeth. Fluoride in toothpaste penetrates into the areas of the mouth a brush can’t reach and gives protection.

How often should I have a dental check up?

That really depends on the condition of your teeth and mouth. Your dentist will advise you on the frequency of your visits. Regular examinations will enable your dentist to keep an eye on your teeth and gums to make sure they remain healthy and also detect any problems so they can be treated before getting any worse.

Which is better, a manual or electric toothbrush?

Providing you are using the toothbrush at least twice a day and are brushing correctly either type of toothbrush is ok. The minimum time you should spend when brushing your teeth is 2 minutes.

What are the causes of bad breath?

Spicy food and food that has strong flavours leave an odour on the mouth. Rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash after eating will help. Smoking is a common cause of bad breath because the smoke produced from a cigarette is inhaled into the lungs, and then exhaled through the nose and mouth. There are certain medical conditions that can also cause bad breath. Diabetics can suffer from ketoacidosis when there is insufficient glucose in the blood for the body to use as energy. A fruity smelling odour is an indicator of this. People that have chronic kidney problems will sometimes have a fishy smell on their breath or one of ammonia.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Usually every 3 months as they become worn and will not clean your teeth as well. However some people replace more frequently as they brush several times a day. If you suffer from gum disease we recommend you change your toothbrush once a month as bacteria can harbour in the bristles. Everyone should rinse their toothbrush with hot water after every use. If you have been sick you should replace your toothbrush.