How often should I go to the dentist?

Author: Dr Aushi Patel

At Anokhi Dental, a common question our patients ask is “how often should I come in for a check-up?”

In short, for the ‘average’ patient (adult or child) the recommendation for a check-up is every 6 months. This recommendation is at the core of Anokhi Dental ‘s holistic philosophy of ‘what goes on in the mouth will have an impact on the rest of the body”.

It is a well-known fact that when it comes to health, prevention is better than a cure.

With regular preventative care (check-ups every 6 months) we are able to detect problems early and treat them in as minimally invasive manner as possible. This approach also represents best value for money, as supported by Australian private health funds.

Smile FLower

What happens at your routine check-up?

>p>As always you will be welcomed to Anokhi Dental by our warm and friendly staff and invited to relax in our ambient and soothing waiting area – more like a wellness spa, than a dental clinic! We offer our signature organic herbal tea or filtered water and a range of enlightening wellness magazines and books to read.

Once taken through for your check-up with your dentist:

  • Your comfort will be our first priority! Our treatment rooms are piped with soothing music and relaxing aromatherapy oils. You will be offered a comforting weighted blanket, neck cushion and papaya lip balm. For more anxious patients we also have Rescue Remedy and Nitrous Oxide (Happy Gas).

  • Your treating dentist will take the time to understand any concerns you may have before starting an examination.

  • The health of your soft tissues, tongue, gums and bones will be checked.

  • The health of your teeth is then carefully assessed.  We look for signs of cavities, teeth grinding or clenching, cracks, bite issues and broken fillings.  Existing crowns, bridges and implants will be checked to ensure they remain healthy.

  • You may be recommended x-rays for more thorough investigation. We use low-dose digital x-ray systems.

  • We will look for any dental infections which may be asymptomatic.

  • We will also assess any concerns around sleep disorders, breathing patterns, jaw alignment and Tempero-mandibular joints (TMJ).

  • Complementary photos may be taken to show you specific areas in the mouth.

  • Cleans are generally recommended with check-ups so that the teeth may be examined more thoroughly without the presence of plaque and tartar. We use gentle ultrasonic instruments, filtered water and a fluoride-free paste during a professional clean.

  • Preventative measures and a customised oral hygiene routine will be discussed with you. We want to help you maintain as healthy a mouth as possible between your dental visits!

At Anokhi Dental, we believe making your oral hygiene regime a priority will help to ensure that your teeth and gums remain as healthy as possible. This plays a key role in the prevention of other potential health problems.

In addition to regular dental check-ups certain simple measures at home can help make dental visits less invasive, costly and stressful.

Top tips – what you can do at home to maintain a healthy mouth: 

1.     Use an appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste for you.

We all know that brushing our teeth is fundamental to our mouth health. Ideally, it should be done after every meal but at the very least, morning and night. All surfaces of the teeth should be brushed, not forgetting around the gum line. The type of brush you use is important. For example, if you have receding gums and the roots of your teeth are exposed, a hard bristle brush may not be ideal. If you have wisdom teeth that seem to trap more food around them and need extra hygiene, you may need a small brush that can reach this area far back in the mouth. Being a holistic dental practice, we recommend more “earth friendly” sustainable toothbrushes such as those made from bamboo.

There are many different types of toothpastes available on the market today. The choice can often be overwhelming! It is important to be aware that most contain fluoride and sodium lauryl sulphate. At Anokhi Dental we do not recommend these ingredients. As a holistic practice we are in support of natural toothpastes that contain herbs and minerals that have been proven to clean the mouth effectively.

Both bamboo toothbrushes and natural toothpastes are available for purchase at Anokhi Dental.

2.     Clean your tongue every morning.

We believe that a tongue cleaner is as important as the basic toothbrush. Tongue cleaners (or scrapers) are excellent for removing the coating on the tongue which is made up of bacteria and toxins. It is this coating which causes bad breath or halitosis.

This daily accumulation is your body’s intelligence giving you a chance to remove toxins from your body! You will also notice that you will have fresher breath! Try to clean your teeth and scrape your tongue within 3 minutes of waking up.

Complementary Ayurvedic copper tongue scrapers are also available at Anokhi Dental.

3.     Use floss or interdental brushes.

We all know that cleaning in between our teeth is important, particularly to prevent dental decay. It is important because it removes food and plaque from between the teeth, which is an area your toothbrush will generally not reach. Depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth either floss or interdental sticks should be used.

4.     Swish with an alcohol-free mouthwash or oil.

Most of the problems in our mouths are caused by bacteria. We have more than 7 billion in our mouth! That is roughly equivalent to the population of the world! Some are responsible for cavities (dental decay) and others cause gum (periodontal) disease. So, the purpose of a good mouthwash or oil is to reduce the population of these harmful bacteria in the mouth whilst having anti-inflammatory effects for the gums.

There are some great natural mouthwashes available these days (a small selection available in our Anokhi Dental retail area) which contain herbs and oils that can significantly boost the health of the mouth.

More and more research these days is linking the health of the mouth with the health of the body. Remember, the mouth is the first part of the gut which is no doubt very intricately linked to our general health!! So, although it may seem like only a “check-up from the neck up” you are actually looking after your overall wellbeing by having regular dental check -ups.

If it is time for your check-up why not book online at www.anokhidental.com.au or call 02 9264 5195.

We look forward to welcoming you!

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