Preventive dental care


How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

Each person is different. Most dentists insist on twice a year, but patients should have a professional dental cleaning every 3 to 4 months. Decay and gum disease is caused by bacteria in a colony that takes about 8-10 weeks to become destructive or must be removed or broken up within this base period.


When/how often should I floss?

Flossing at least once per day is very important. For maximum results, we recommend flossing every time you brush your teeth and after every meal.


Selecting your toothbrush

One of the main things to look for in toothbrushes is the bristles. Most dentists recommend soft bristles, especially for those individuals that have sensitive teeth or gums. Both adults and children should use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Toothbrushes with harder bristles are not more effective at removing plaque or stains.


If you are unsure of what features to look for or the best bristle head design for cleaning your teeth's unique contours and alignment, be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist for assistance.


How often should I change my toothbrush?

Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months or earlier if the bristles begin to look worn or frayed (bristles that fan out or spread is a sign that it is time to get a new toothbrush).


What is a fluoride toothpaste?

Always pick a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride toothpastes have been shown to prevent cavities. One word of caution: The American Dental Association recommends that children over 2 years of age and adults use a fluoride toothpaste displaying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They also recommend the use of fluoride mouth rinses, but not for children under 6 years of age because they may swallow the rinse.


Is there any advantage to using a powered toothbrush compared with a manual toothbrush?

Not necessarily. The key to good oral hygiene is correct and effective use of a toothbrush. But many people have a hard time brushing correctly. For them, one of the main advantages of a powered toothbrush is it's easier to brush correctly


Does mouthwash really help?

Mouthwashes do more than simply freshen your breath. In combination with brushing and flossing, the ADA says that bacteria-fighting mouth rinses can reduce bacteria in dental plaque and thus help prevent gum disease. Fluoride mouth rinses help reduce and prevent tooth decay. These products may also contain alcohol and are not appropriate for children under 6 years of age because they can swallow the rinse. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend the type of rinse that would be best for you.


When should I first take my child to the dentist?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday. We treat children ages 6 months and up


Treatment related

How long does bleaching last?

Each person is different. It depends on many factors including your diet, the original color of your teeth, and each person's ability to absorb bleaching products.

How Can I get the yellow out of my teeth ?

The first step is to get a cleaning done using a 'Prophy Jet' with a baking soda spray and following it up with tooth polishing. This will help your dentist to evaluate the type and amount of real discoloration present in your teeth. Then, a two-step in-office bleaching technique heat/lamp or the new laser approach is combined with the usual 'Matrix Home Bleach' for the safest, quickest way to whiter teeth. Subsequent follow-up is recommended to maintain your new tooth color.


I have dark stains. What can be done?

In-Clinic bleaching using heat/lamp or the new laser technique especially when combined with matrix home bleaching can help. If your teeth are very dark it may take several treatments plus up to 3 months at home. You may also want to consider replacing old fillings with tooth colored bonded restorations and/or porcelain laminate veneers. If the stains are bright orange, they may be caused by chromogenic bacteria and may need polishing and/or antibiotics to correct the condition. Another technique called micro abrasion, which involves polishing the stains with a mild acid in combination with bleaching may be useful especially for white stains. The most important thing is for you to have a consultation with your dentist who will help you to make the correct decision and avoid problems.


I have been smoking for years. Can my teeth be whiter?

Yes. External bleaching may help. If it doesn't, the teeth can be covered with a light composite resin bonding or beautiful 'stick on' porcelain laminates. However, continued heavy smoking will unfortunately shorten the longevity of any treatment result.


Does special whitening toothpaste really lighten teeth?

Most 'whitening toothpastes' remove a few surface stains but do not bleach the teeth as effectively as bleaching gels or solutions that contain the bleaching agent, Carbamide Peroxide. Even if the toothpaste does contain some bleaching chemicals, the paste is in contact with the teeth for an insignificant amount of time compared with using a bleaching solution and a form-fitted matrix or especially an in-office treatment. Also, these toothpastes may have harmful abrasive elements that can wear away tooth structure over time


I have a 'gummy' smile. Can anything be done?

Yes! Cosmetic gum raising and/or tissue sculpting is an excellent choice. Sometimes, orthodontics can help. Orthognathic surgery is also a viable solution. You need to consult with a good cosmetically trained restorative dentist, periodontist, surgeon and an orthodontist. Your best bet is to visit a dental centre that has all these specialists working together in the same facility.


My gums bleed when I brush or floss. Is this normal?

No! A thorough soft tissue evaluation including X-rays, with a prophylaxis (cleaning) and good homecare instructions is an essential beginning. Usually bleeding is an initial symptom of gingivitis or periodontal disease, and may require conventional gum surgery if necessary. Seek a dentist who can do different forms of treatment from simple cleaning of the teeth to antibiotic therapy, and as a last resort, surgery.


What can I do about bad breath?

It may be coming from your teeth or gums but usually it's from bacteria colonizing on the back of the tongue. A comprehensive breath evaluation and bacterial culture can determine the best form of treatment. See a dentist who uses a new diagnostic device called the Halimeter with bag culturing to help diagnose the extent of your problem. There are remedies available today to combat this problem. Mouth rinses (chlorine dioxide) and tongue scrapers help get rid of the bacteria that cause these odors.


My teeth are loose. What should I do?

Have teeth cleaning (prophylaxis), full mouth X-rays and periodontal probing to determine why they are loose. Chances are you will want to have consultation with a periodontist to help determine the cause and develop a plan to treat the condition.


My smile is crooked. What can be done?

No problem. Although orthodontics is the ideal way to correct this condition, sometimes an alternative using restorative treatment with bonding, laminating or full crowns can make a pleasing result.


What is tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is tooth pain due to the wearing away of gum tissue. As we age, our gums start to recede, exposing the root of the tooth. This can make teeth more sensitive because the root is not covered by enamel therefore exposing the tooth's nerves. As your teeth come in contact with hot and cold food or drinks you feel pain.


Who suffers from sensitive teeth?

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints dentists hear from their patients today. In fact one out of every five adults claims to suffer from pain caused by sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can start hurting as early as in your 20's. The teeth most commonly affected are "canines" and "premolars".


Your care at My Family Dentist

What are the clinic timings

We are open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. except for public holidays

Can I come in without a prior appointment

You are welcome to visit any of our clinics without prior appointment. However you may have to wait for your turn.


What can I except in the first visit

When you first arrive and meet our staff, you'll fill out a registration form. This helps our doctors to get to know you better. It's always a good idea to arrive a few minutes early.


Do I have to carry my records for the subsequent visits

Our clinics are connected to a centralised IT system which enables us to store and access your medical records centrally. So you do not have the hassle of carrying your files in the follow up visits

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