Myths and Facts

Why Do I Need a Dental Check-up?

Dental check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you to keep your mouth healthy. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it's best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

Generally speaking you should have a dental check-up every six months, but some people may not need to go so often and others may need more frequent checks. Your dentist will suggest when you should have your next check-up based on how good your oral health is.

The time between check-ups can vary from three months to one year depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems.

How to Ease Dental Fear

Being afraid of the dentist means different things to different people. Maybe it's the thought that treatment will hurt, or that the sounds and smells bring back memories of bad experiences as a child.

The good news is that our dentists understand patients’ fears. With a combination of kindness and gentleness our dentist can do a lot to make your dental treatment stress free.

Tips to Ease Dental Fear:

  • Find an understanding dentist. Ask friends and family if they can recommend one or look for someone who you can trust and share your fear and apprehensions.
  • Dentists at Watervale Dental believe in providing quality care in a most compassionate way.
  • Make the dental staff aware of your phobia while making an appointment. This will enable staff to inform the dentist about your phobia and it will enable dentist to plan your treatment accordingly.
  • Generally the first appointment will be a check-up so don’t worry that you’ll be launched into having a filling, the drill or a needle. See the first visit as your chance to get to know the dentist.
  • Take a friend with you to your appointment. The dentist won’t mind if they accompany you throughout the check-up or treatment.
  • Agree a sign with the dentist to signal that you need a break and want them to stop. It can be as simple as pointing your finger, and will help you feel more in control.
  • If you think it will help, start gradually with a clean and polish then work up to more extensive treatment once you’ve built up trust and rapport with your dentist.

If you're extremely nervous, ask your dentist to refer you to a sedation clinic. These clinics are specifically for nervous dental patients.

Dental Myths:

MYTH: White teeth are healthier teeth

FACT: We may think that whiter teeth look better, but teeth are not meant to be pure white. You can help keep your teeth as white as possible by brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Avoiding food and drinks that can stain teeth, such as tea, coffee and red wine, will also help to keep them white.


MYTH: I have to see a dentist every six months.

FACT: Your dentist will tell you how often you should come in for a dental check-up, and if you have very good oral health, this may be no more than once a year.

The time between check-ups can vary from three months to one year depending on the health your teeth and gums and your risk of future problems.


MYTH: There is fluoride in our water supply.

FACT: Fluoride is considered safe and beneficial for strong teeth. In fact, fluoride works best when it is taken in very small amounts throughout the day via sources such as fluoridated tap water, foods and drinks containing fluoride and fluoride toothpaste. Yes most tap water in Australia has added fluoride.

Victoria has fluoridation plants at the outlets of four of our major reservoirs: Silvan, Cardinia, Yan Yean and Sugarloaf.

MYTH: Baby toothpaste is better for young children.

FACT: Some baby tooth paste brands do not have enough fluoride in them. It is advisable that children upto the age of seven years  should use toothpaste with approximately 500 ppm of fluoride. Children more than seven years of age and adults should use toothpaste with approximately 1000 ppm of fluoride. Check the packaging to see if it contains enough fluoride.


MYTH Only the sugar in sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks and chocolate is bad for my teeth.

FACT: While all these foods are bad for your teeth (and your general health), dried fruit, fruit juice and honey contain natural sugars that can cause tooth decay. Limit the amount of these foods that you eat, don't have them between meals and brush your teeth twice a day.


MYTH There's no need to brush milk teeth.

FACT: Even though your child will lose their milk teeth, they still have to be brushed. Establishing good habits early in life helps ensure life-long dental health. Brush your baby's teeth twice daily from the moment their first tooth cuts through.


MYTH I'll need false teeth when I'm older.

FACT: Improvements in dental hygiene mean that more of us keep our natural teeth into old age.


MYTH Bad breath is only caused by not brushing your teeth properly.

FACT: Most cases (up to 90%) of halitosis (bad breath) are caused by bad oral hygiene.

Regular brushing, flossing, eating and drinking healthily, and taking plenty of exercise are the best ways to avoidbad breath.