Dental x-rays help dentists diagnose common problems such as cavities, gum disease and infections. X-rays can allow dentists to see inside teeth and also the supporting structures that surround them. Without them, diseases could go unchecked and treatment would begin later, leading to more complications such as pain and the possible loss of teeth.
The X-rays used in dental office emit extremely low doses of radiation. The dental x-rays come out of a small cone, which is well shielded, to limit the rays to a very small area. This means very little radiation exposure occurs beyond the diameter of the beam.
At Be Well Dental, we take several measures to further minimise the radiation exposure to our patients:
- Limited use of x-rays: First and foremost, we only take x-rays when we believe they are necessary for an accurate dental assessment or diagnosis.
- Digital radiography: we use modern digital x-ray systems that reduce the dose of radiation by as much as 80% compared to traditional development systems. The use of dental imaging software now allows us to be able to obtain a lot more information by being able to zoom, measure and adjust a number of parameters we couldn’t with films.
- Digital storage of x-rays also ensures they are maintained in good diagnostic quality for many years to come. This can reduce the frequency in which they may be needed and may be shared with specialists if needed.
- Film holders: At Be Well Dental, we use holders to keep the films in place to allow our dentists to take more accurate x-rays.
- We care for the environment and this is an added benefit of a digital system, being able to do away with wasteful and harmful processing chemicals used and the constant need to buy, transport and stock film.
Both parents and dentists play important roles in making a child’s dental appointment a positive experience.
Keep in mind that it may be perfectly normal for children to be a little anxious or fearful. Some may be afraid of strangers or the unknown, others are afraid they may be harmed. A dentist who treats children will know how to cope with your child’s fears and anxiety and put them at ease.
To help the dental visit goes well:
- Explain the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums to your child, and that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job it is to help with this.
- Make it positive. Avoid using words like “hurt” or “painful.” Don’t ask them to be brave; this will imply that something scary may happen.
- Take your child to the dentist at a young age. Preferably before 2 years of age. This is a good opportunity to meet and greet with the friendly dental team and tour the dental practice. They can have a ride in the chair and be introduced to simple dental tools before any treatment is necessary.
- Make dental visits regular (every 6 months). Don’t make it a big deal. When something is routine, it becomes a regular part of life and less unknown or scary.
- Don’t share your own fears with your child. Give them a good start.
- Find a dentist who is good with kids.
At Be Well Dental, our whole team enjoys seeing children. We prepare ourselves to wow your child with a positive experience. We speak in simple language and use demonstrations to help your child understand what we are doing. We build rapport and trust with our patients as we strongly believe that dental anxiety should not be a barrier to good long-term dental health.
Christmas is just around the corner and most of us have already begun celebrating the festive season with work functions, family gatherings and various social events. It is not hard during this time of the year to over indulge in cake, chocolate, cocktails and other goodies. Some of us may feel slight guilt about how this may affect our general health and waistline, but how many people really give a second thought to how this may affect our dental health?
Sugary and acidic foods and drinks are risk factors to tooth decay and dental erosion. Both conditions may have long lasting detriment to your over dental health, which left untreated may lead to tooth loss. How can we minimise the damage to our teeth during this festive season? Here are some tips:
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day even with your busy schedule. Keep up with your healthy routine!
- Drink plenty of water. Particularly at parties where you may be consuming sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
- Rinse your mouth out regularly with water. Water helps to clear some of these nasties off your teeth.
- Chew sugar free gum to help stimulate your saliva flow after meals. Saliva helps protect your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth at night with a fluoride mouthwash, or even bicarbonate soda for some extra help.
- Have your teeth examined and cleaned by your dentist if you have not had one in the last 6 months.
Smile and be well!