Frequently Asked Questions

When should my child first see a dentist?

Your child's first dental visit should take place when they are around 2 years of age or shortly after the eruption of their first baby tooth.
This allows for the child to get to know the dentist and gives the parents an opportunity to ask the dentist any questions regarding dental care. It is best not to wait until your child has toothache or a dental emergency to take him/her to the dentist for the first time, the experience could be traumatic and the child may remember it for many years to come. We welcome all children and aim to give them an happy experience.

How often should I have my check-up?

Dentists usually consider six months as an appropriate time interval for most patients. At the Tovey Little Dental Centre we will discuss with you the most appropriate length of time for check ups usually between six and twelve months  Some patients who need regular gum care may need to attend every three months or more frequently for hygiene treatment.  The interval between dental examinations is tailored to each individual patients needs under NHS guidelines.

How often should X-Rays be taken?

There are strict guide lines as to when routine X-Rays should be taken, laid down by the dental authorities. Depending on your oral health you may need X-Rays taking every two years or less frequently for most children.  Some people will require more frequent X-Rays due to continued treatment, tooth or gum problems, diet or oral hygiene or health related issues.  If you are a new patient we normally take X-Rays on your first visit for our records.

Which toothpaste should I use?

There are many varieties from gels, whitening toothpaste, tartar control to natural toothpaste, toothpaste made for children and sensitive teeth. The brand of toothpaste is not as important as what is in the toothpaste itself.  Even if you have fluoride in your drinking water, it is still wise to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.  The current guidelines are that all children up to three should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old they should use a toothpaste containing 1350ppm to 1500ppm.  The tartar control toothpaste can be very good at reducing the overall level of tartar or calculus on teeth and some toothpastes contain Triclosan, which is excellent for gum problems.

Why do I need Oral Health Instruction?

Most people carry out some level of dental care but even the most conscientious brushing may not be as effective as it needs to be. You brush your teeth to remove plaque and this can be more difficult than you think. Plaque is the same colour as your teeth and you may not be removing it from every tooth surface which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Apart from scaling and cleaning the teeth, we offer hygiene advice to ensure you are cleaning your teeth the best way for you, as well as a hygienist service.  Over brushing can also cause tooth wear and a good brushing technique is important to prevent this happening.

Should I clean between my teeth?

Every adult should be cleaning in between their teeth with interdental brushes, ideally on a daily basis. When gums are healthy, this can simply be once a day in the evening. However, anybody with a history of gum disease should clean 2-3 times daily, to ensure the best possible result.

What is your new patient procedure?

To register as a patient here at Tovey Little Dental Centre you must come into the practice, with details of your address and a contact telephone number. If you are a fee paying patient, on the NHS, you must bring £22.70 to pay for your first appointment. However, if you have a form of exemption that gives you access to free dental care, you must bring proof of your exemption, otherwise you will be charged. Patients wishing to register privately should follow the same procedure as stated above, however must bring £75.00 to pay for your first appointment.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

It is not always obvious as gum disease can be present without symptoms. Regular examinations and gum checks are essential to identify gum disease. A simple, basic, painless periodontal examination (BPE) carried out regularly will give a good picture of gum health and can help to reassure you that any problems are under control. A Periodontist is a dentist who specialises in gum problems.  Early treatment can often reverse the problem before any long term damage is done although in most cases even for advanced gum problems effective treatment can prolong the life of a tooth.

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