1What is dentistry?
Dentistry involves the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the teeth, gums, mouth and jaw. Your dental care can affect the health of your entire body. Dentistry includes the repair of damaged teeth, infected and diseased gums, as well as the replacement of missing teeth. Modern dentistry also has aesthetic applications to improve stained or chipped teeth and the enhance the smile.
2What is a dentist?
A dentist is a medical professional who specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral health issues. Your dentist has earned a BChD (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree after completing a minimum of five years of university education.
3Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Routine dental visits are not only beneficial to maintaining oral health, but they can also help improve your general health. Dental hygiene benefits include:
  • Prevents decay of the teeth
  • Prevents tooth and bone loss caused by periodontal (gum) disease
  • Routine brushing, flossing and dentist visits can help reduce the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Increases your self-confidence by making your smile more attractive
  • By preventing food, drinks and tobacco from staining teeth, you keep your teeth's appearance bright
  • Maintain the strength of your teeth so that you can have a lifetime of beautiful smiles
4My teeth don't hurt. Should I still see the dentist?
Regardless of whether your teeth seem healthy or not, you should still see the dentist every six months because problems can develop without you realising them. The appearance of your smile is essential, and your dentist can help you keep it healthy and beautiful. Modern dentistry has made it possible for patients to live without stained, chipped, missing or deformed teeth. Today's dentists provide a variety of treatment options to help you smile confidently, including:
  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Natural-looking dental fillings
  • Replace missing teeth and makeover your smile
  • Cosmetic veneers & crowns that enhance your smile
5How can I take care of my teeth between dental check-ups?
  • Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss once per day! The best time to brush is in the morning and evening. It's important not to eat after brushing your teeth at night because the food will stick on your teeth for the entire night, and nasty bacteria will damage your teeth.
  • Use fluoride-containing toothpaste. Cavities can be prevented this way.
  • You should never eat a lot of sugary foods (the bacteria in your mouth will increase with sugar, leading to plaque and cavities) and don't use tobacco (which can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and cause cancer).
  • It's okay to brush your tongue! Plaque-causing bacteria and food particles can be removed from your tongue by brushing it. Keeping your breath fresh is another benefit of brushing your tongue.
  • Make your routine check-up a priority. A dentist appointment every six months is recommended.
6 At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
You are welcome to schedule your child's first visit by the age of one.
7How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teenagers and adults should all visit the dentist at least once every six months for a regular check-up. Patients with a higher risk of oral cancer or gum disease may need to visit the dentist more frequently than twice a year. You should speak with your doctor about how frequently you should see the dentist for regular check-ups.
8What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems.
9What is a filling?
After all dental decay has been removed from a tooth, your dentist will use a filling to cover the removed portion. Fillings are usually painless since your dentist will use an anaesthetic to numb your mouth. Composites, gold and ceramic are just a few of the materials used to make fillings. If you require a filling, consult your dentist to determine which type is best for you and your teeth. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and have a dental check-up every six months if you want to prevent cavities.
10When should I change my toothbrush?
  • Toothbrushes wear out. Your toothbrush should be changed regularly every two to three months.
  • For those patients experiencing gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every four to six weeks to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Patients using electric toothbrushes should follow the directions as these brush heads may not wear as quickly.
  • If you are sick, ensure you change your toothbrush once you have healed to prevent a recurring infection.
  • Kill germs and keep your toothbrush clean after brushing by running it under hot water.
11What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is the infection and swelling of the gums, including the fibres and ligaments that keep teeth attached to the underlying bone. The sensitive “neck” of the teeth may be exposed to cold air if gum disease is not treated, which can result in bone loss and bone damage. It also results in loosening and eventually loss of teeth. Some of the characteristics of gum disease are:
  • red gums
  • irritated gums
  • bleeding gums
  • gums that are swollen
  • teeth with abscesses
  • gum line that is receding
  • tooth sensitivity that is extreme
  • bad breath that is chronic
12Do I still need dental check-ups every six months if I have braces?
Definitely! It may be best if you have your dental check-ups every three months to ensure you or your child are keeping good oral hygiene care practices at home. Plaque buildup is much easier with brackets and wires attached to your teeth. Make sure you are familiar with the necessary tools needed to floss and brush your teeth while you wear braces. If you're unsure, ask your dentist!
13Does All Smiles Dentist accept medical aid?
Yes, we do.
14Does medical aid cover teeth whitening?
Unfortunately, not. Dental insurance does not cover teeth whitening because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Also, you may NOT use your medical savings account to cover this procedure either.
15How do I prepare for my appointment?
Please do not attempt to floss directly before your appointment if you don't generally floss. This will cause unnecessary bleeding of your gums and interfere with our assessment stage. It is an excellent habit to very gently brush your teeth and rinse your mouth before your visit. Those who smoke should avoid smoking directly before their dental appointment. It is an unpleasant smell for your dentist to experience.
16How do I schedule my next check-up?
Simply call our practice! Whenever you need to schedule your next appointment, just contact our friendly receptionists. If you are a first-time patient, let us know so we can prepare you for your first dental visit.