Frequently Asked Dental Questions

The following are some of the frequent questions we get at our practice.

If you have a specific question or can not find an answer on our web site, please do call through and talk with the team. We will be able to find a specific staff member to answer your questions.  

On facebook?

Feel free to ask a question by messaging us:


Is Flossing Important?

Flossing is not important, it is ESSENTIAL! In order to remove plaque from between your teeth, where gum disease can begin, you need to remove food scraps containing sugars. These sugars promote bacterial growth and are very hard to remove with brushing alone. We often say “Only floss the teeth you want to keep for life”. Follow our Flossing Tips to learn how to floss properly. We recommend flossing at least twice a day.  

Are you close to public transport and parking?

We are located close to Station Pier in Port Melbourne and are surrounded by free parking and the 109 Tram from the Melbourne CBD. Travel times vary, however we are approximately 15 minutes by tram from Melbourne CBD and about 10 minutes from South Melbourne and Albert Park.  

Why 6 Monthly Checkups?

6 months may seem like a frequent period of time, however it is 182 days in which plaque can settle into hard to reach places and start forming into tooth decaying tartar which affects both your teeth and the gums they rely upon. A combination of at home maintenance (brushing and flossing) and professional “cleaning” and treatment will ensure that your mouth, and the body systems it is connected to, are in top shape and able to be enjoyed for the rest of your life. If plaque and tartar exist and you leave it on your teeth and under your gums it will dramatically increase each month. Tartar provides a breeding ground for plaque forming an environment where exponential growth is common. 182 days is plenty of time to form a colony of bacteria in your mouth. However, all people have different teeth, gums and dental care habits… therefore some people need to come more often, others less often. 6 months is a guide to all patients looking for optimal dental health, your dentist and hygienist will be able to inform you about your specific needs.  

Does the kind of toothbrush I use make a difference?

This is a good question, which we hear often. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush. We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose. We recommend replacing your brush at least once a month, a sign of a tired brush is when the bristles are even slightly bending or loosing their colour. Our team all brush first thing in the morning, after each meal/snack during the day and at the end of the day after dinner. If you are not able to do this because of your busy schedule, we recommend brushing at least twice a day. Drinking water after eating is not as effective, but a good way to diminish acids and food particles in the mouth. Please click here for other tips.  

Can anything help my occasional bad breath?

Bad breath is experienced by most people at some time. It may simply be “morning breath” but can be a persistent chronic condition which affects a person’s everyday life and confidence. It is almost always caused initially by poor oral hygiene leading to a build up of excess bacteria in the mouth and which gives off smelly gases. A professional clean and visiting your hygienist regularly will help. Daily flossing and brushing will allow you to maintain fresh breath. Some patients also find that a tongue scraping tool helps remove bacteria.  

I have some old silver fillings which are beginning to look bad. What can be done to improve them.

Silver amalgam fillings, which are composed of mercury and silver alloy, eventually need to be replaced. It may surprise you to know that the average life span of a silver / amalgam filling is five to eight years. Your dentist can tell you when they appear to need to be replaced due to leakage, breakdown or recurrent decay. If your concern is strictly cosmetic, there are many new methods available to replace the fillings with beautiful, functional long lasting restorations.  

I would like to have my teeth whitened. There are so many products and ads for whiteners that it is hard to decide which is best. What do you recommend?

You are correct, there are many products and techniques available. Some work well and some don’t work at all, some are simply dangerous. The various over the counter products give the least predictable results. To get a really great result you should probably use one of the products sold through dental offices which utilise custom made trays for home application of a bleaching gel. Besides giving a great result, most take home products overcome the sensitivity problem seen with some of the other products.  

I am missing several teeth. A friend told me that she recently had implants to replace her missing teeth and is very happy. What are implants?

Dental implants are a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your overall general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. After your dentist does a thorough examination and treatment plan the surgical phase of treatment takes place. When healing is complete, the tooth or bridge segment can be placed on top of the healed implant. You should ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for implants and proceed only with dentists or specialists that have trained specifically in this complex area.