East Building 3 Oracle Boulevarde,
Broadbeach, Gold Coast 4218
Here at Oracle Dental, we see teeth every day so we thought we would share some really interesting facts about our favourite past time, teeth!
Pretty cool, hey. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly & visit us twice a year to keep your pearly whites, gums & general health in tip top condition.
One of the most common phone calls we receive is, “I’ve got a toothache, what can I do”?
Tooth pain can happen for a variety of reasons & it is very easy to think; “Oh it will go away on its own”. This may be true in some minor or mild cases but for the majority it actually escalates!
Pain is the body’s way of alerting us that something is not right & if we don’t listen it gets louder & more painful. It is important to listen to the little signs before the big ones take off.
So why do we get toothache? There are many reasons, below are some of the most common:
Ok, now we know some of the causes of toothache, what can we do to prevent them & what signs do we look out for………..
The best way to prevent getting tooth pain is to visit the dentist regularly. We can hear you say I can’t afford it or I haven’t got the time. Well let us tell you a 6 monthly check up & clean is cheaper & much less painful than having to have an extraction or root canal treatment! The dentist can pick up any problems when they are very small & easily fixed. Your gums will always be clean & free from calculus & best of all you get to see us twice a year!
Now for the symptoms & what to look out for………………………………..
Hopefully this guide will help you to understand your tooth pain & how to act. It is very helpful to the dentist if you can give them as much information as you can. They may ask you questions like;
So the bottom line is don’t leave tooth pain hoping it will go away, it can end up causing you a great deal of unnecessary pain & expense!
Here at Oracle Dental we deal a lot with health funds & one of the most common questions I am asked by our patient’s at reception on a regular basis is; what health fund do you recommend? So I am going to give you my top tips on what to look for when choosing a health fund for dental treatment.
2. Work out what you actually want to include in your insurance. Make a list of those health care professionals you see within each year. Do you want hospital & ancillaries (dental, optical, physio, naturopathy) or just one or the other? Most people are unaware that you can split your insurance between two funds, one for hospital & one for ancillaries if you find better deals that are cheaper separately.
3. With dental insurance there is usually a waiting period, meaning you have to be in the fund for a minimum time before you can claim. This is usually 2 months for general dentistry; exams, cleans, fillings, extractions & 6 -12 months for major dentistry; Root canals, crowns, porcelain veneers, dentures, implants. YOU CAN ASK FOR THE 2 MONTH PERIOD TO BE WAIVED; say you are shopping around, have better quotes or commit to signing up on the day.
4. Be careful, most health funds have a $ limit per year. This means that once you reach this limit in rebates you will not get anymore cover for the remainder of that year. For example one level of cover may have a maximum of $300 rebate for general dentistry over 12 months which can be used up very quickly if you have an exam, clean & a couple of fillings. The same fund may also be able to provide an unlimited dental cover (for a little extra) that allows you to have as much general dentistry as you need. Great if you know you need a lot of work. Talk to a sales person directly, you get better results & can ask more questions.
5. Always ask the health fund what their limits are for general & major dentistry & do they have a plan that fits your needs. If you need major dental work, look for a level of cover which is at least $800 per year. Across most health funds I find this is a common rebate.
6. Most funds only give you a percentage back of what you are charged by the dentist so you should still expect some out of pocket expense at each visit.
7. There are exceptions; Oracle Dental is a preferred provider of BUPA & HCF. This means we charge the fees these funds tell us to & as a member you get the maximum benefit back. If you are with HCF & see us, you are entitled to two free exams & cleans per the calendar year, x-rays, a mouthguard & some other preventatives with no out of pocket expenses. This is fantastic value!
8. When you take out cover as a family, a family can be 1 child or 10; the cost is still the same. This is great for large families! You can get a special cover with BUPA that allows your child/children to receive free dental cover until they are 21 years old. Again talk directly to a sales person
9. Always write down what you have discussed, get a quote number & the name of person that you are talking too. We have had people who have joined a fund and not received what they thought they would or their waiting periods were not waived
10. Health insurance can be EXPENSIVE; it is one of those necessary evils. If you decide to join a fund use it! Make sure you get your dental exams, have your teeth cleaned, and keep on top of your dental health. Don’t let your fund card sit in your pocket costing you money every month with nothing in return. We have had patients who know they need a lot of work done; join a fund with unlimited general dental cover, have the waiting period waived & get all their dental cavities attended to & get their mouth back into tip top shape with a minimum cost outlay. This is where health funds can be invaluable.
11. There are times when joining a health fund may not be the best option, if you need major dental work straight away like a Root Canal, crown or implant. For these treatments you have to pay into a fund for 12 months to get back approximately $800- $1000.
12. Be aware that if you are currently in a health fund & decide to look around and find one that is more suitable & better value, check what will happen to your waiting periods. Make sure they are waived or understand that you may have to wait another 12 months for major dental.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you when deciding on whether to join a health fund. It is a big decision but I have seen a lot of positives from it here at Oracle Dental. My top dental funds are: HCF, BUPA, NIB, FRANK, AHM, CREDICARE, GMHBA purely based on rebates for our patients.
So don’t put it off, make yourself comfy, get a cup of coffee and start researching, it may be your first step to healthier teeth.
Oracle Dental’s Front office superstar
Many parents have a daily fight on their hands when it comes to getting their toddlers to brush their teeth. It is extremely important for children to get into great oral hygiene habits from an early age. It is a worrying statistic that over 50% of Australian children over the age of 6 have tooth decay. So we have put together a list of ideas that may help brushing become a happy part of your toddlers daily routine.
1. Pick a favorite song and make it a game to brush your toddler’s teeth for the duration of the song. Ideally, for a small child, a thorough clean would take approximately 1 minute.
2. Give your child a sense of involvement and responsibility by taking them shopping and letting them choose the toothbrush and toothpaste they will use. This will make it special for them. Remember to only give them the choice of brushes and toothpaste that are age appropriate for your child.
3. Rewards systems work for many children. As an example, most children love a bedtime story. So why not make the bedtime story a reward for when the toddler brushes teeth before bed. Or incorporate brushing into a rewards chart, if at the end of the week they have achieved a set goal, they get the reward.
4. Make brushing a parent and toddler activity to do together. As many parents know, toddlers are often much happier to do a task when they are doing it together with mummy or daddy. It sets a good example and shows them that as grown-ups we have to do this as well. Plus, if they insist on doing it themselves, they can copy what you do. Or alternatively, let your child practice brushing your teeth with water and then its mummy or daddy’s turn to brush their teeth.
5. Use a gimmick toothbrush. You can purchase toothbrushes that flash for 1 minute, play music, a character brush or a battery-operated oscillating brush. These things add to the fun factor of brushing.
6. Introduce an appropriate brush to a child as soon as they start teething. The chewing motion can be soothing on gums and a lot of cleaning can be achieved without any effort from mum or dad. This may also prepare and desensitise them to the more formal brushing that comes later on.
7. If your toddler loves your ipad, download a free brushing app or browse youtube for brushing videos. These make brushing educational and fun for all age groups.
Keep coming up with new creative ways or use a combination of our ideas to keep things interesting! Being persistent is well worth it in the long run. We also recommend parents start bringing children for a visit to the dentist from about the age of two.
How long should a filling last? This is difficult to answer since there are so many factors that can affect your teeth, including the fact that we use them to bite & chew with continually. Some fillings last for many, many years, others only 1 or 2. The type of material the filling is made of, its location in the mouth & how your teeth bite together will all affect how long the filling lasts.In addition, your personal habits such as poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugar & acids and teeth grinding may also negatively impact the longevity of a filling.
The opposite is true. You need to get in there & keep brushing & flossing to help remove the plaque, bacteria & inflammation which is contributing to the bleeding. If the problem is only minor this should help and the bleeding should stop. If it doesn’t it is important to visit your dentist to check that there is nothing more concerning going on.
Brushing too often or using the incorrect brushing technique can actually cause your teeth to wear. Combine this with an abrasive toothpaste and /or a hard bristle brush & you could find yourself with sensitive teeth or even needing a filling. Always use a soft toothbrush, we recommend not using whitening toothpastes as they can be more abrasive than normal ones, rinse after meals & chew a sugar free gum, this helps stimulate saliva & avoid plaque build- up.
While this has happened to some women, it is more of an old wives tale. Women go through many hormonal changes during pregnancy which can exaggerate existing problems. It is important to have your teeth checked and thoroughly cleaned before & during your pregnancy; your dentist will let you know if there are any concerns.
Dental X-rays are essential to detect even the slightest traces of oral health problems at their earliest stages, such as cavities, gum disease, oral infections, and some types of tumors. They can see in between your teeth where a dentist can’t. Your teeth could look perfectly normal showing no signs of decay, then you take an x-ray, and decay may be seen under an old filling or between the teeth. We recommend taking x-rays every 2 years.
“Dental x-rays are one of the lowest radiation dose studies performed. A routine exam which includes 4 bitewings is about 0.005 mSv, which is less than one day of natural.background radiation. It is also about the same amount of radiation exposure from a short airplane flight (1-2 hrs).” Source: xrayrisk.com
While many people get braces in their youth, appearance can still be improved into your 30s, 40s and beyond. There are many orthodontic treatment options available now, so you don’t have to put up with an outdated smile. Here at Oracle Dental we use the “Quick Straight Teeth” system, for more information just go to our website & click on the QST link. It is a quick, affordable & relatively easy process for adults with great results.
Children don’t just need baby teeth to chew with; the roots of their baby teeth help guide permanent teeth into place as they erupt. Tooth decay can occur in baby teeth & is just as uncomfortable as in adults. Problems may arise if baby teeth are lost prematurely due to decay, such as spacing problems for the adult teeth or social issues for the child. It is very important to start a dental routine while your child is young. You can start by wiping their teeth with a washer when they start coming through & introduce a toothbrush as early as possible. Brush for the child until they have the ability to do so themselves. Always use a low fluoride paste until they are at least 6 & try & make brushing a fun experience. There are many aps that can help. We recommend bringing your child in at about the age of 2 for a ride in the chair & become familiar with a dental environment.
Many people think that when they get a porcelain or gold crown over their tooth that the tooth will never have a problem again. Although a crown will make a compromised tooth stronger & look better, a crown will not last forever. There is also a join between the crown & tooth which may be susceptible to decay if you don’t brush, floss & visit your dentist regularly to have it checked.