Dentist in Cairns
We can keep your smile healthy and reduce your risk of problems with a dental check-up
This is the only sure-fire way to ensure your smile remains healthy as you age year after year. Dental check-ups are easy to push off of our to-do-list, but prevention through dental check-ups is one of the best things you can do for your smile. We find that once our patients understand that their issue could have been prevented with an earlier appointment, they’re more proactive about visiting the dentist every six months. Our hope is for our patients to feel inspired enough to regularly visit the dentist so they can avoid experiencing any dental emergencies such as severe decay and dental pain.
How often should I visit the dentist?
We recommend you visit us twice a year for a check-up and a deep clean as we can then keep track of any dental issues and resolve them immediately. During your dental check-up with Bruce Stevens Dental in Cairns we treat even the smallest tasks with the same precision as our more complex treatments. This means that someone undergoing a dental check-up will receive the same level of care and expertise as our surgical patients.
We also ensure that we are recommending the best treatment for YOU. This is important as every mouth is unique and should receive the best treatment available on an individual basis.
I look after my teeth; do I still need to visit the dentist?
The importance of a deep clean lies in the fact that you cannot clean your teeth with the same thoroughness as your dentist. While you may brush, floss, use mouthwash and even watch what you eat, plaque build-up is still difficult to remove. With a deep clean from the dentist, you can be assured that your teeth will be cleaned thoroughly and the risk of cavities will be greatly reduced.
Remember: even if you do maintain a good oral hygiene routine, that doesn’t mean you are not at risk of gum disease or other oral health issues. It is an unfortunate fact that gum disease can affect anyone irrespective of how well you look after your smile. That is just one of the reasons why you should visit the dentist for regular check-ups and deep cleans.
What happens during a dental check-up?
At your check-up, we will examine your teeth and may take digital x-rays to get a clear perspective on any issues Dr Bruce Stevens notices. If there are any issues found in these x-rays we will show them to you so you know our recommendations are based on your unique condition. From there we can begin our treatment, which could be any one of our cosmetic, restorative or general dental procedures.
What if I need a filling?
Not every small bit of pain means that you need a filling, so you should never put off seeing the dentist because you’re afraid of this. The earlier you address any dental pain the better, and in many cases patients may be able to be treated with a fissure sealant which doesn’t require any sedation and is completely painless. Fissure sealants and fillings are completed using the latest tooth-coloured materials to create a natural looking finish that is also durable.
Keeping your teeth healthy at home
Looking after your oral health involves sticking to a routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day and being mindful of your diet are just some of the ways you can look after your oral health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is plaque?
That sticky film you feel whenever you run your tongue over your teeth is plaque. It forms when foods rich in sugars and starch (chocolate, sodas, cakes) are left on the teeth. Bacteria from the mouth, together with these foods produce acids which can break down the tooth enamel eventually resulting in tooth decay.
Is an electric toothbrush the preferred choice, over a manual one?
Ideally, if a manual toothbrush is used correctly, paying attention to proper technique and the recommended time of two to three minutes, it should do all that is necessary to maintain good oral care. However, electric toothbrushes offer more strokes per minute than a manual toothbrush, which works well for children who are not eager to brush their teeth as well as for adults in a hurry. Electric toothbrushes are perfect for people with dexterity issues but can be pricier than your average manual toothbrush. It really comes down to lifestyle and what you expect from a toothbrush.
How often should I have my teeth cleaned?
Dental insurance policies typically allow for two cleanings per year. Visiting a dentist every six months is a good approach to have any tartar or calculus build- ups removed and to detect any other dental health issues that may crop up. However, the frequency of these visits should depend on the state of your dental health. The more committed you are to your dental health the less frequent these dentist visits may be. However, if you have gum disease, it may be recommended that you visit a dentist every month for the first three to six months.
What causes tooth sensitivity?
Tooth sensitivity can be described as a sharp, sudden pain on the tooth that is stimulated by various factors including consumption of foods and drinks of varying temperatures, and teeth brushing. This painful reaction is caused by the sensitive dentin layer being exposed due to the tooth enamel being worn down. The causes of tooth sensitivity include:
- Gum recession, with the root of the tooth exposed;
- Acid reflux;
- Tobacco usage;
- Bruxism- the condition of teeth grinding;
- Acidic foods;
- Tooth decay;
- Whitening treatments, which can result in temporary tooth sensitivity.
How can I relieve tooth sensitivity?
Since the degree of sensitivity depends on the individual, treatment is therefore tailored to your individual needs by a dentist. Some of the treatments available are:
- Desensitizing toothpastes with a high fluoride content;
- Fluoridated mouthwashes;
- Use of a soft-bristled toothbrush;
- Dental fluoride gels or varnishes;
- Surgical gum grafts if the root has been compromised;
- Avoiding acidic foods and drinks.
What can I do about dry mouth?
Xerostomia, or dry mouth can be relieved by:
- Speaking to your doctor about changing your current medication to other medications that don’t list dry mouth as a side-effect, or about reducing the dosage of your current medication.
- Significantly reducing your consumption of alcohol;
- Giving up the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco;
- Limiting your intake of caffeinated drinks;
- Sipping on water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist;
- Chewing on sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production;
- Using artificial saliva sprays and oral moisturisers;
- Using mouthwashes that are specially formulated to target dry mouth.