General Dentistry

At Burleigh Waters Dental Care in Burleigh Waters we offer a range of general dental treatments to help you maintain your smile

Some of the other general dentistry treatments Burleigh Waters Dental Care offer are:

Dental Health Tips

How to brush and floss

Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining your oral health. As the saying goes, “You don’t have to brush and floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.” Whilst this saying is obviously tongue-in-cheek, the message could not be more true!

How to brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush

Use a multi-tufted, soft, nylon-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can easily damage your teeth (by creating wear notches in the tooth/root, leading to sensitivity and weakening the tooth) and gums (by stripping away the fragile gum around the neck of the tooth and exposing the softer root dentine). Soft-bristled toothbrushes last about 4-6 months before they need to be replaced.

It should take you about 2 minutes to brush all of your teeth properly. The bristles of the brush should be angled toward the area where the tooth meets the gum, at a 45-degree angle. This allows the bristles of the brush to clean around the neck of the teeth and slightly underneath the soft gum. The brush should be moved in light, circular motions, cleaning the tooth and massaging the gum at the same time. Do NOT scrub the brush backwards and forwards.

Brush all teeth. Start on the cheek side of the back teeth, at one corner of your mouth, brushing as you move across to the opposite corner. Then switch to the inside (tongue or palate side) and again brush from one corner to the other. Then brush the tops or chewing surface of the teeth.

Some areas will require you to switch the brush to a different angle such as the inside (tongue and palate side) of the top and bottom front teeth. Using the tip or small end of the brush will help brush around this curved area. Use the same type of circular motion with the brush, moving up and down against the tooth.

Brushing the biting surfaces of the teeth is easy. Place the bristles on the biting surface of the teeth into the grooves and brush back and forth.  Be sure to brush the biting surfaces of left side and right side, upper and lower teeth.

How to use dental floss

  • Start with 30cm-40cm of dental floss.
  • Lightly wrap the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, wrapping most around one middle finger and only a small amount around the other.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers, position the floss over the spot where two teeth meet.
  • Gently push the floss down in between the teeth. Once it’s in between the teeth, wrap the floss around each tooth in a C-shape and run the floss up and down each tooth.
  • Do NOT run the floss backwards and forwards as this will hurt the gums.
  • Repeat this process between ALL the teeth. You don’t need to use a fresh section of floss between each tooth, only change the little section of floss you’re using if it gets really dirty or begins to fray (looks like it will break).
  • You cannot damage your teeth, gums or fillings by flossing.

What is the best type of dental floss?

The best type of floss to use is a waxed dental floss, which is easier to slide in between the teeth than unwaxed floss. You can also use interdental brushes (pine-cone shaped brushes) to poke between the teeth instead of using dental floss. Toothpicks don’t count!

Why do my gums bleed when I brush and floss?

Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, which is an inflammatory response to excessive plaque build-up. This generally occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. Improving your brushing and flossing technique generally allows your gums to settle down, however if you are experiencing prolonged bleeding you should see your dentist.

Bad Breath

Bad breath has a wide range of causes. Most people suffer temporary, albeit lingering, odour following some meals, such as those with garlic, onions and spices. However, chronic bad breath can be a sign of dental and/or general disease such as periodontal disease, decay in teeth, decay under fillings or crowns, as well as digestive system or sinus problems. Foul breath odour caused by any of these conditions needs to be corrected by your dentist or physician.

When does bad breath develop?

Most bad breath is a result of build-up on your teeth and tongue. Your mouth is warm, moist, and darkthe perfect place for bacteria to grow and decompose. Bad breath develops when these surfaces are not cleaned regularly and effectively. Bad breath can be eliminated, or at least controlled, fairly easily by removing food debris, plaque, or calculus; replacement of broken fillings causing a food trap; restoration of areas of decay; eliminating gum disease. Plaque which accumulates at or along the gum line can also find its way into the deep recesses on the top surface of your tongue, contributing to mouth odour.

Tooth brushing, tongue cleaning, and flossing correctly, at least once a day, are the best prevention and cure for bad breath.

Another way to ensure fresh breath is to have your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis. The goal here is not only to correct any disease-related problems but also to prevent any problems from beginning in the first place. We can perform this as part of your regular six-monthly check-ups.

Do I need mouthwash?

Most people do not need mouthwash on a regular basis. Mouthwash should only be used by people who have difficulty brushing and flossing properly, such as following wisdom tooth extraction.

Dental Decay

Dental decay is an extremely widespread, multifactorial disease. Rather than being an infectious, one-way, progressive disease, modern theories of dental decay focus on a dynamic, remineralisation-demineralisation cycle. The balancing-log below shows the relationship between the main factors in the demineralization-remineralisation cycle:

High intake of simple sugars Low intake of simple sugars
e.g. lollies, chocolates, cakes
Poor brushing Regular, effective flossing
Poor flossing    Good salivary flow
Reduced salivary flow How fluoride exposure
(fluoridated water and toothpaste)
Poor quality saliva Low acidic exposure
Low fluoride exposure Low fizzy drink intake
High acidic exposure
(dietary and digestive)
High exposure to dairy products such as cheese & milk
 High fizzy drink intake
(sugary and acidic)

The best methods of protecting against dental decay are:

  • brushing twice with fluoridated toothpaste
  • flossing all your teeth every day
  • drinking fluoridated tap water instead of bottled water
  • consuming dairy products such as milk and cheese
  • minimising the consumption of soft drinks and always rinsing with water after drinking fizzy drinks
  • chewing sugar free gum after eating to increase salivary flow to neutralise dietary acids.


Gingivitis is a reversible, inflammatory disease of the gum surrounding the teeth. It is characterised by inflammation, redness and bleeding of the gums and occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene, especially through a lack of flossing. It is generally resolved by brushing twice daily and flossing daily.  

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and is reversible if treated early. If left untreated, it can progress into the more serious form of gum disease; periodontitis. Periodontitis occur when the supporting structures of the tooth supporting structures (namely loss of bone and gum) are lost. If left untreated, the teeth become loose and may need to be removed to prevent serious mouth infections.

When are radiographs necessary?

We only take radiographs when we think they are absolutely necessary. We use radiographs to assist us in diagnosing your dental problems such as a broken tooth, a cavity, or an abscess. We also use radiographs as part of an initial or periodic oral examination. In these examinations, radiographs are used to determine whether there are problems in a beginning stage which cannot be seen merely by looking at the tooth or area.

We can only see about 50% of your oral conditions without radiographs.

Radiographs allow us to see, among other things, in between the teeth, at and below the margins of fillings and crowns, and the location and density of bone which supports your teeth. With this information we can make a full diagnosis, treating small or hidden problems before they become really big problems. Radiographs are not considered a preventive measure, but they do often allow us to diagnose and treat a problem early.

Sometimes we must take several radiographs of one particular area. Radiographs are only a two-dimensional, black and white representation of a three-dimensional, coloured object. Radiographs taken from different angles give a more three-dimensional and therefore truer look at various anatomic features. We will have a much clearer picture of kind, size, and location of any problems.

If you would like to know more about how Burleigh Waters Dental Care in Burleigh Waters can help you, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.


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