Regular dental visits for the whole family are an essential part of taking care of your general health. At expatdental® our dedicated Hygiene team have all the knowledge required to help you look after your oral hygiene both in the dental office and at home.

Baby teeth

A regular oral hygiene routine should start early in life. Our first teeth appear around the age of 6 months old. Even before baby teeth are present, a soft cloth should be used to gently rub a baby’s gums clean twice a day. As soon as the first tooth can be seen it is time for brushing using a soft toothbrush to massage the teeth and the surrounding gums. A small amount of toothpaste can be introduced around 18 months of age. All the baby teeth are in place between two and three years old and flossing needs to be introduced to prevent cavities between, often tightly packed baby molars. Your dentist can provide you with some ideas on how to make this an easy process at your baby’s first dental visit recommended at the age of two.

Toddlers

Introducing an oral hygiene routine and dental visits early on in life allows toddlers to develop an understanding of the importance of looking after teeth. It is normal to face resistance and using creative ideas like brushing to a song or a game can often help. Parental supervision is recommended until about eight to ten years of age.

Teenagers

A full understanding of the value of oral hygiene practices should be established in teenagers as they take responsibility for their dental health and enter into orthodontics. During orthodontics oral hygiene practices become more difficult. Your Orthodontist will be able to help you through exactly how to keep both your braces and your teeth clean. Flossing twice daily and extended brushing with a soft toothbrush is essential to avoid any unnecessary damage to the teeth resulting from retained plaque on and around orthodontic devices. Specially designed floss and toothbrushes are available for those hard to reach places. Remember to continue seeing your general dentist and hygienist every six months despite having regular orthodontic visits.

Adults

Poor oral hygiene habits can have a significant impact on our general well being through the development of dental decay and periodontal disease. Not only do we pass our oral bacteria to our loved ones, but dental disease such as periodontal or gum disease is directly linked to some cardiovascular conditions and pre-term, low birth weight babies. As such the importance of a regular well established oral hygiene routine can not be overemphasized. Flossing and brushing twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste is an easy way to look after your teeth. Six monthly dental exams and cleanings should be part of your health care routine and for some more regular visits may be necessary. Not all teeth are created equal and your dentist may recommend adjunctive treatments such as fluoridated mouth rinses, amongst others. There are many contributing factors to dental disease but together with your dentist and dental hygienist a successful oral hygiene regime will be your strongest weapon to keeping your teeth healthy for life.

Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?

When used properly great results can be achieved with both an electric and a manual toothbrush. However cleaning well with an electric toothbrush is easier and can help prevent harsh brushing that may damage teeth and gums. Electric toothbrushes are also a great aid when trying to encourage children to brush their teeth well.

Should I use a hard or soft toothbrush?

It is essential to use a soft bristle toothbrush. Hard toothbrushes can do extensive damage to the tooth and gum surface. Together with flossing, a gentle circular brushing motion along the gum line and on the tooth surface is all that is required to remove plaque.

How often should I floss my teeth?

No different to brushing, flossing is required twice a day to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Plaque accumulation between our teeth can not be removed in any other wary. Gently slipping the floss between our teeth and stroking all the way down the tooth to just below the gum level allows us to loosen the plaque film which can then further be disrupted while we brush. Make sure to floss behind your furthest back tooth as this area is often missed.

How often should children visit the dentist?

As for adults, all children should visit the dentist every six months. This will allow the child to become accustomed to a regular dental routine where they can be educated about taking responsibility for their dental health and the dental professional can monitor any changes or concerns.

Can I use mouth rinse instead of floss?

No. Mouth rinse is a great adjunctive treatment for some higher risk patients but it does not clean between our teeth in the same way as what floss does. Bacteria within plaque are protected and highly resistant to any removal agents. Flossing allows us to disrupt the plaque film, exposing the bacteria and allowing easy removal.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

Each patient’s needs are different. The hygienist and dentist will determine what your treatment needs are. In a well-maintained, healthy mouth, 6-month infection control cleanings are standard. Some patients will require a shortened interval.

At what age should I start bringing my child to see the dentist?

Children's Dental care helps your child develop good oral habits from an early age. We recommended children begin visiting the dentist at the age of 2.

Does gum disease cause bad breath?

Yes. There can be other reasons to have bad breath, but if you have gum disease, you will have bad breath.

Should baby teeth be flossed?

Yes. Like adult teeth, baby teeth can often be positioned close to one another causing plaque accumulation in between which can lead to cavities. It is also beneficial to introduce flossing habits early on and encourage it to become a habit.

What are sealants?

Your Dentist may recommend sealants at any point of your child’s dental development. Sealants are a non-invasive method to protect teeth which may be prone to cavity formation. This can be due to poor enamel quality or deep grooves on teeth. Several material options are available and your Dentist will select the correct option for the particular scenario.

What is a “deep cleaning”?

A deep cleaning is referring to more advanced forms of cleaning when the dental hygienist needs to clean bacteria, tarter and other debride that has built up under the gumline.

What will the dentist do when I take my two year old for their first visit?

At two years of age many baby teeth are already present. Your Dentist will gently try to have a look at all of these teeth and make sure there is no early reason for concern. It will also be an opportunity to answer any question you as a parent may have regarding dietary and oral hygiene habits. Your Dentist will also take some time to introduce your toddler to a few of the components of the dental chair.

Will regular cleanings help detect and prevent gum disease?

Yes. Regular dental visits are an essential part of taking care of your general health. The hygienist and dentist will determine what your treatment needs are. Regular cleanings will assist with early detection and prevention of gum related issues, including Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the initial phase of gum disease; the signs of gingivitis are red gums which bleed when brushed and flossed; it is reversible with good oral hygiene and treatment by your dental hygienist. Prevention has always been the motto of the dental community, and this is where it starts with gum disease.


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