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Answers to your questions


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Are thumb sucking and dummy habits harmful for a child’s teeth?

Yes they can be in some cases. They can change the way the tongue and other oral muscles function. This can affect the development and growth of the lower face (upper and lower jaw position). It’s a good idea to try and limit the time the child has these habits and eliminate them altogether as soon as possible.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

As soon as the child can sit in the chair. (2 years onwards). Our main aim at this stage is for the child to have a positive experience in visiting the dentist and for the parent to be aware of what they need to do in terms of oral hygiene and nutrition.

What is dental caries?

Dental caries or decay is damage to the tooth caused initially by acid attack. This acid is produced by a film of bacteria (plaque) that builds up on certain areas of the tooth. The two main areas that are susceptible to plaque build up and subsequent caries formation are:

  1. The fissures or grooves on the top part of the tooth
  2. The contact area between teeth

How can I prevent dental caries?

  • Good nutrition
  • Reduced frequency of eating sugary food
  • Customised dental hygiene program including flossing and brushing of teeth and tongue
  • Occasional use of disinfectant mouthwash
  • Regular dental check ups

When is it necessary to take antibiotics before seeing the dentist?

It is possible sometimes for bacteria to find their way into bloodstream during certain dental procedures such as a scale and clean or an extraction. Some patients should not be exposed to any risk of bacteria entering their bloodstream due to the danger to their systemic health. These patients include any one with:

  • A recent history of heart attack or cardiac surgery
  • Any implant surgery
  • Recent history of stroke

Please let us know of any significant episodes in your recent medical history and we can work with your specialist to organise antibiotic cover for your dental treatment.

What can be used instead of amalgam fillings?

Materials that are alternative to amalgam are:

  • Composite resins, ceramics
  • Noble metal restorations

We use the best quality materials utilising the most modern and technologically advanced techniques.

Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

It depends on whether they are causing problems or have the potential to cause problems in the future. We can assess your individual situation and make recommendations as to possible treatment options. What is important is to determine early if your wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems and plan treatment so that treatment is done at a time that suits you instead of having to face an acute situation.

I wake up in the morning with tender teeth and headaches. What does this mean?

These symptoms are common in people who either clench or grind their teeth during sleep. There are numerous causes of night time clenching or grinding or bruxing as it is otherwise known. Stress is not the only one. Night time bruxing should be resolved or eliminated early on as long term grinding can damage the teeth, their supporting structures and the jaw joints. Tooth grinding coupled with headaches may also be a symptom of structural or functional problems in the rest of the body. These, if left untreated, can result in a chronic pain situation. It is important that these are diagnosed and treated early before they deteriorate to the point where complex treatment is required.

What could be the cause of my bad breath?

There are numerous causes of bad breath. They can be single or multiple. A thorough assessment is required to determine all the causes and ways to resolve them. Some common causes are:

  • inadequate cleaning in between the teeth, i.e. no flossing
  • inadequate cleaning of the tongue
  • mouth breathing, snoring
  • infection of tonsils or adenoids
  • smoking
  • gum infection
  • throat or lung infection
  • oesophageal or stomach problems
  • some medications
  • nutritional problems

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