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Paediatric Dentistry

A positive dental experience is of utmost importance for your child and at Dentistry First we aim to make your child feel comfortable with dental care right from the first visit. We take a gentle and fun approach with child-friendly language to educate your child on the skills and knowledge to care for their teeth, developing good habits and oral health for life.

Even though children will eventually lose all their baby teeth, it is important to keep them healthy and free of decay. Tooth decay progresses much quicker in baby teeth and can easily develop into abscesses and chronic pain. It is important to keep their baby teeth until their adult teeth come through as it helps maintain space for the adult teeth and helps guide them into the correct position, reducing the need for more complex work in the future.

At around 6 years old, children will start to get their first adult molars through. Fissure sealants are usually recommended when deep pits and fissures are noted in these teeth to prevent decay forming due to bacteria sitting in the deep pits and groves.

Dr Zheng Phan with Little Girl Patient
  • Where is the clinic located?
    We are located at: Professional Suite 1/45 First Avenue, Mooloolaba. It’s one street back from the Mooloolaba Esplanade and can be accessed via Brisbane Road or Walan Street. Please note that some GPS systems will take you to First Avenue off Meta Street however this is no longer a through road.
  • What can I do if I have anxiety?
    Our team will talk through each procedure and allocate adquate time to complete the work required at a comfortable pace. Do not hesitate to contact our team with any questions.
  • How do I get into the clinic?
    Access to the clinic is from street level. You will enter into our waiting room which is separate from the treatment area. Sensors will let us know when you arrive so please sit down, relax and we will be with you in a minute.
  • Where can I park for free?
    We provide free parking for our patients at 45 First Avenue. We are on the street level of this building. Just head up the driveway. This gate is open 6am till 6 pm Monday till Friday. We have four exclusive car parks on the right hand side. There are additional visitors parks on the opposite side of the carpark. Street parking and public car parks are also available.
  • What is microdentistry?
    Microdentistry is an advanced method of family dentistry that focuses on early detection and minimal intervention. We use modern tools and techniques to promote great dental health. Invasive procedures are an absolute last resort.
  • What type of dental work do you do?
    We specialise in: General Dentistry Microdentistry Non-invasive Cosmetic Dentistry Endodontics — Root fillings Temporomandibular Disorder
  • How do I make an appointment?
    Please call (07) 5444 4058 or use the form on our contact page.
  • What are your opening hours?
    We are open Monday – Friday from 8.30am – 5.00pm Saturday from 8:30am – 1:00pm (Saturday by appointment only) Closed on Sundays
  • Manual tooth brushing technique
    Angle your toothbrush 45⁰ along the gum line, do small gentle round circular motions. To clean the back of the top and bottom front teeth, hold toothbrush parallel to the midline of face and do up and down motions – handle of toothbrush to nose for the back of lower teeth and to chin for the back of upper teeth
  • Electric tooth brushing technique
    Angle the toothbrush 45⁰ along the gum line Focusing on one tooth at a time, slowly glide the toothbrush from tooth to tooth, stopping on each tooth for a few seconds. Follow the contours of your teeth and gums
  • General tips
    Apply gentle pressure! The toothbrush bristles should not fray before the 3 month mark. Brushing too hard damages both the enamel and gums. Replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3 months or when the bristles start fraying. Electric toothbrushes are excellent for patients with limited dexterity. It is also a fun way for kids to enjoy tooth brushing. Spit out excess toothpaste, do not rinse out with water after tooth brushing. Do not forget to brush your tongue after tooth brushing!
  • Recommendation for children
    Introduce a small headed, soft bristled toothbrush when your child’s first baby tooth comes through Prior to using a toothbrush, a soft wash cloth or muslin cloth can be used with water to clean your baby’s gums. This will help desensitise your baby for tooth brushing No toothpaste is needed for children under 18 months old. A low strength fluoride toothpaste should be introduced at 18 months and can be used up to 6 years unless recommended otherwise by your dentist. 2 minutes is the recommended amount of time but this can be too long for young children with only a few teeth. Just ensure that all tooth surfaces are cleaned well and slowly working up to 2 minutes as they start getting all their teeth. Playing a song or using apps with a timer can make tooth brushing more fun. Physical or phone app brushing charts and stickers can help as a positive reinforcement for brushing. Parents should brush their children’s teeth up to about 10 years old. Children can have a go at brushing their own teeth under the supervision and assistance of a parent but parents may need to go back in to brush areas missed. A good indicator when a child can brush by themselves is when they receive their pen licence at school. Floss between any teeth that are touching each other. Ask your dentist for any tips and tricks to make this an easier process.
  • How does the pulp become infected or inflamed?
    Main cause of an infected or inflamed pulp leading to partial or complete pulp death are decay, cracks, trauma, extreme wear, extensive dental work done to tooth and severe gum disease. This provides a path of entry for bacteria to the pulp causing it to be infected. The pulp can also become irritated and inflamed if extensive dental work has been done on the tooth or due to trauma.
  • What are the stages of a root canal treatment?
    There are usually 3 visits to complete the treatment. Depending on the tooth, more appointments may be needed and your dentist will advice you if so. A rubber sheet, ‘rubber dam’, is used in every appointment to isolate the tooth from any saliva and bacteria in the mouth and to prevent debris and irrigants used to clean the tooth from entering the mouth. Avoid eating on the tooth under treatment until a definitive filling or crown is placed on the tooth. All root canal treated teeth are more brittle and a crown is usually recommended for long term protection from breaking and reinfection. Visit 1: Decay is removed and a small access hole is created to access the root canals. The infected or dead pulp is removed and an antibacterial dressing and temporary filling is placed. Visit 2: The root canals are cleaned, disinfected and shaped to the correct lengths. Some narrow canals may need more work and time to negotiate them and more appointments may be needed. An antibacterial dressing and temporary filling is placed. Visit 3: The root canals are sealed with a rubbery material to prevent reinfection and the cavity is sealed with a filling material in preparation for a crown or large filling. Do not leave a treated tooth for too long before getting a final filling or crown as the tooth may crack or get reinfected.
  • Why am I being referred to an endodontist?
    Root canals are often referred to a specialist if it is a more complex case such as narrow, blocked canals or teeth with unusual anatomy or additional canals for the best outcome for your tooth.
  • What are the symptoms indicating that a root canal treatment may be required?
    Some signs that indicate a root canal treatment is needed are: • Pain or dull ache, can be spontaneous • Pain waking you up at night • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold that can linger • Pain on biting • Grey discolouration of tooth • Abscess (localised swelling) • Facial swelling To note: Pain: pain is the most common symptom indicating the need for a root canal treatment. If the tooth is still alive, it will be very sensitive to both hot and cold and will remain sensitive for a period of time after the stimulus is removed. If the tooth is dead, it could ache spontaneously and be sore to bite on. If the tooth is dying or partially dead, there could be a combination of symptoms. Occasionally you will experience pain that wakes you up in your sleep. Abscess and facial swelling: An abscess forms when the infected pulp causes inflammatory response that eventually leads to the breakdown of bone around the root tip of the infected tooth. This infection can drain into the mouth resulting in a ‘pimple’ on the gums near the tooth. Occasionally the infection spreads through the fascial planes resulting in a facial swelling. Not all dead or infected teeth have symptoms and can remain asymptomatic for many years. Hence regular check-ups are important. An OPG (x-ray showing all the teeth and surrounding structures) can help with identifying such issues.
  • How oftem should children get checked up?
    We recommend 6 monthly checks and cleans just like adults unless specified by the dentist.
  • How do you prepare your child for their first appointment?
    Parents play a very important role in making the dental visit a positive experience. In the lead up to the first appointment, parents could play dentist at home – lying your child back, getting them to open wide and to count their teeth. It would be helpful if you could use phrases such as “going for a ride in the chair” or “visiting the tooth fairy’s friend” to make them excited about the upcoming appointment. Reassure your child that dental visits are a regular occurrence to keep their teeth happy. If you have any older children comfortable at the dentist, it is a good idea for your younger child to come along to see what a dental appointment is like. Definitely avoid using the dentist as a punishment! Never use phrases such as “if you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will pull them out!” and terms like “needles”, “drills”, “pain/hurt”, “pull” as this will reinforce any fear in your child to visit the dentist. Keep it light hearted and fun! If you are anxious about the visit, try not to show it as it can rub off on your child making them anxious as well. Try to be positive and encouraging and let us take the lead!
  • At what age should children start going to the dentist?
    Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends child to visit the dentist when their first tooth comes through or when they are 1 year old. It is normal to expect some fussing from your child at the initial appointment but the aim is to get your child familiar and comfortable with the dental setting as early as possible. It is also a good time to get any questions answered and for the dentist to assess any habits and give oral hygiene instructions and diet recommendations for your child.
  • What is Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS )?
    CDBS is an Australian government programme for children age 0-17 to make dental treatment accessible to eligible families that are receiving certain Centrelink payments. Eligibility is assessed at the start of every calendar year. Give us a call to see if your child is eligible, if not visit this link to check your eligibility. CDBS covers up to $1026 over 2 consecutive calendar years. If the full amount is not used in the first year, it will be carried over to the next year before being forfeited when the new cycle starts. However if the full sum is used in the first year, there will be no funds available for the subsequent year. At Dentistry First we bulk bill all eligible children, hence there is no out of pocket expense if sufficient funds are available. Some dental treatments that are available include: • Check ups • X-rays • Cleans • Fissure sealants • Fillings • Pulpotomies/Root canal treatments • Extractions Orthodontic treatments, high end dental work such as cosmetic dental work and any dental services carried out at the hospital will not be covered by CDBS. Some of the available treatments have a time or item restriction so please check with us if you have any concerns prior to making the appointment. This is especially importance if you have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart complaints, cancer treatment), on many medications (often leading to dry mouth), or are on medications that strengthen your bones.
  • How to prevent decay?
    Good home oral hygiene: Twice daily tooth brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste in combination with daily flossing. Make sure the technique is right! We are happy to go through tooth brushing and flossing techniques at your appointment. Diet: Reducing the frequency of consumption of fermentable carbohydrates and sugars, both natural and artificial, is crucial in preventing decay. We recommend avoiding grazing and sipping at drinks throughout the day. 3 main meals with only water between meals is ideal in preventing decay formation.
  • How does tooth decay start?
    Bacteria naturally reside in our mouth. They feed on food debris resulting in the multiplication of acid-producing and resistant bacteria in the mouth forming plaque. If this plaque is not removed, tooth demineralisation and cavitation occurs with time.
  • Why do FAQs matter?
    FAQs are a great way to help site visitors find quick answers to common questions about your business and create a better navigation experience.
  • What is an FAQ section?
    An FAQ section can be used to quickly answer common questions about your business like "Where do you ship to?", "What are your opening hours?", or "How can I book a service?".
  • Where can I add my FAQs?
    FAQs can be added to any page on your site or to your Wix mobile app, giving access to members on the go.
  • Why do I need a profession clean every 6 months even though I brush and floss consistently at home?
    While bacterial plaque can be easily removed with tooth brushing and flossing, once this plaque hardens it forms calculus or tartar. This cannot be removed with store bought products and home care. Did you know that it only takes 2 days for calculus to form? Despite good home oral care, it is easy to miss certain spots and for calculus to form. Professional cleans not only remove these stubborn build-ups, it also removes surface stains keeping your mouth feeling fresh and clean and your smile sparkly.
  • How often should I get a check up and clean?
    Usually every 6 months unless you have periodontal disease, in which we will recommend 3 monthly gum checks and cleans. This is especially importance if you have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart complaints, cancer treatment), on many medications (often leading to dry mouth), or are on medications that strengthen your bones.
  • What can I do to help stabilise my periodontal disease?
    Home care: At home oral hygiene practices are crucial in stabilising periodontal disease. Tooth brushing: Electric tooth brushing for at least 2 minutes morning and night with the correct technique Daily flossing: Make sure you curve around each tooth and gently glide the floss underneath the gums! Interdental brushes/waterpik: Use of interdental brushes are very helpful if you have larger spaces between the contact of your teeth and the gums. An alternative is the use of a waterpik. Interdental brushes and waterpiks do not replace the use of floss! (insert picture of interdental brushes in use) Regular deep cleaning: 3 monthly periodontal checks and deep cleaning at the dentist are strongly recommended until the periodontal disease has stabilised. The frequency of deep cleaning can then be reduced gradually until the regular 6 monthly check ups and clean.
  • What are the causes of tooth discolouration and can whitening help?
    Extrinsic stains: These are stains that build up on the surface of our teeth. These stains usually occur from our daily food and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks or from smoking cigarettes or cigars. Most of these stains can be removed during your six monthly check and cleans before they are absorbed into your teeth. Intrinsic stains: • As mentioned above, stains that accumulate on the surface of your teeth that are not removed over a long period of time can absorb into your teeth becoming intrinsic stains. Whitening will be able to help these stains. • Medications: The most common medication causing staining is tetracycline that is taken when your teeth are forming. This causes a permanent banded brown, grey or yellow discolouration in teeth. These stains are very very difficult to remove with whitening and if whitening is unsuccessful veneers or crowns can be done to cover up the teeth. • Fluorosis or hypoplasia: Excessive fluoride ingested when teeth are forming can cause white spots in mild cases or roughened brown or black areas in teeth in severe cases. Mild cases may improve with teeth whitening in combination with tooth mousse application, occasionally there may be initial worsening with the white spots becoming brighter. In severe cases, whitening may not be able to help and veneers or crowns may be required. Age: As we grow older, our enamel thins out and the underlying yellow dentine shows through. Wear from grinding, excessive tooth brushing especially with hard tooth brushes and whitening tooth pastes can exacerbate the thinning of enamel making the underlying dentine more visible. Dental factors: White spot lesions develop when minerals leach from teeth due to poor oral hygiene or diet. This is the start of a cavity. Whitening will not be able to correct these lesions. A single dark tooth is because the tooth can be due to a dead tooth or a root canal treated tooth. For root canal treated teeth, a different procedure called internal bleaching can be done, if not a veneer or crown can be placed to cover up the dark tooth.
  • Things to note before whitening your teeth
    Fillings, crowns and veneers do not change colour with whitening. If you have these in the aesthetic zone and would like to proceed with whitening, these will need to be replaced after whitening. If you have sensitive teeth, whitening will make your teeth more sensitive during and for a period after whitening. Exposed root surfaces may not whiten and are more susceptible to sensitivity. Using sensitive toothpaste and tooth mousse can help with the sensitivity. Not all teeth can be whitened with whitening, see below for more information! Whitening is not recommended in pregnant and breastfeeding woman To achieve the best results, avoid dark foods and drinks and tobacco while whitening and for a short period after. Teeth will darken again with time and will need whitening periodically to maintain the brightness.
  • How do I maintain my onlay, crown and bridge?
    Oral hygiene is of upmost importance as decay can still form around the margins of the crown. Daily brushing and interdental cleaning is crucial. Superfloss or interdental brushes should be used to clean under the bridge daily. Despite being very strong, ceramics and porcelain can still chip if placed under a lot of force. Avoid biting hard foods like bones and crab shells and avoid habits such as using teeth to open bottles or cracking nuts. Occasionally splints or mouth guards are recommended if clenching or grinding is suspected
  • How do I care for my dentures?
    • Do not wear your dentures to bed! This give time for your tissues to have a break and prevent fungal infections. • Clean dentures with a soft tooth brush and liquid soap, do not use toothpaste. Leave dentures out to dry overnight • Wash the dentures over the sink lined with a wash cloth – this is to prevent the denture from breaking if dropped into the sink. Dentures often break when dropped into the sink, counter or the floor! • Soak the denture in a denture cleaning solution weekly • Soak the denture in a diluted white vinegar solution to remove calculus formation on the denture.
  • What is the denture making procedure like?
    The denture making procedure requires 5-6 appointments. This is after a full exam and any required work completed to ensure that the teeth supporting the denture is sound. Primary impressions Secondary impressions – an accurate impression of the oral hard and soft tissues for a well fitting denture Bite registration Try in – denture teeth in wax to assess shade, shape and alignment of teeth prior to casting the final denture. An additional appointment is required to try in the framework if a cobalt chrome partial denture is being made. Denture insert Adjustment as required
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