Frequently Asked Questions


I brush my teeth constantly but still have bad breath. What can I do?

Brushing and flossing are definitely the first steps to eliminating bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria responsible for creating odourous sulphur compounds and the food they feed on. However, bacteria hide not only on and around the teeth but also on the tongue under a layer of mucous. Here they are free to create odours.

You might want to consider a tongue scraper. They're extremely effective at removing this protective mucous layer from the back of the tongue.

The latest products on the market for bad breath are toothpastes and mouthwashes containing chlorine dioxide. The chlorine dioxide neutralises the odourous sulphur compounds, instead of simply covering up the odour.

When should my child first see a dentist?

The ideal time for your child to meet the dentist is six months after their first (primary) teeth erupt.

This gives your dentist a perfect opportunity to carefully examine the development of their mouth and catch problems such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations and prolonged thumb-sucking early.

I have a number of black fillings, What can I have done to improve this.

The black filling material uses in your teeth is amalgam. It has been used as a filling material for over a hundred years; it's still one of the strongest materials available.

However, it's about as unattractive a filling material as you can get. There are a number of other tooth-colour restorative materials currently available that can be used to replace old amalgams.

Why do I need X-Rays?

Radiographic or X-ray examinations provide your dentist with an important diagnostic tool that shows the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones.

X-Ray can help your dentist determine the presence or degree of periodontal disease, abscesses and many abnormal growths, such as cysts and tumors. X-rays can also show the exact location of impacted teeth. They can pinpoint the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through visual examination, (such as changes in the jaw bone structure as a result of systemic disease).

What can gum disease mean for a diabetic?

Gingivitus is an infection within the gums caused by bacteria found in plaque. A diabetic's body doesn't respond as quickly to infection as a non-diabetic. If the infection persists, it can spread to the underlying bone that supports and anchors the teeth. It has been shown that diabetics who keep their condition under control and maintain good oral hygiene have a far better chance of combating infections than those who are poorly controlled.

While biting hard food I broke one of my teeth. What should I do?

If you are not in any pain then ring the dentist as soon as possible and make an appointment, but try and keep the tooth as clean as possible and avoid biting hard on that tooth. If you have pain, then you will need to go to your dentist immediately as an emergency.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If plaque is not regularly removed, it calcifies into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. By products of bacterial metabolism irritate the gums, making them red, tender, swollen and more prone to bleed.

Eventually, the supporting periodontal structures begin to breakdown. The result of this slow process is tissue loss, bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

What should I do if my child's tooth gets pushed out of place?

  • Attempt to reposition the tooth to its normal alignment using very light finger pressure, but do not force the tooth.
  • Bite down to keep the tooth from moving.
  • Your dentist may splint the tooth in place to the two healthy teeth next to the loose tooth.

What if my child won't give up their dummy?

If your child sucks on a dummy for long periods, it could cause problems in the way his/her teeth develop. The pressure of the dummy against the back of the teeth could push the teeth forward. This could mean that your child will need corrective treatment (such as a brace or having teeth removed) when he/she is older. Try to limit the time your child spends sucking on a dummy as much as possible.

What if my child has tooth decay?

Our mouths are full of bacteria that build up on the teeth in a sticky layer called plaque. These bacteria digest some of the sugar in our food and drinks, making acids that can weaken the tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of teeth). If acid remains on the tooth surface for a long time, it can cause those areas of the tooth to decay. This can happen if children often have sugary foods or drinks, or don't clean their teeth properly.

If your child has tooth decay that isn't treated by a dentist, it will eventually reach the centre of the tooth and can cause an infection or toothache. If you suspect your child may have tooth decay you should book an appointment with Blossom Dental Care.

What should I do if my tooth gets knocked out?

Get to a dentist within 30 minutes, this can make the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

  • Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
  • Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage cells necessary for bone reattachment.
  • Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not scrub.
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and the gum to keep it moist.
  • It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.

What to do in a tooth emergency

  • Wash wound with clean running water.
  • Stop bleeding by applying pressure to the injured area and hold with gauze or cotton wool for 5 minutes or until bleeding stops.
  • See your dentist immediately, Lost baby teeth are usually not replaced because this may cause damage to the adult teeth. For older children however, the sooner you see a dentist the more chance you have of saving the tooth.

If a tooth is chipped or broken with trauma

Occasionally the dentist is able to "glue" the tooth fragment back into place. If you are able to, find the tooth fragment and place it into water and get to a dental surgery asap.

Remember, with all these dental mishaps time is of the essence. The sooner you see a dentist, the better chance you have of keeping your teeth natural.

Contact Blossom Ashfield Dental Care, by calling (02) 9716 7228 or Blossom Burwood Dental Care, (02) 9744 8886 or click here to contact us online.