Why should you see a dentist regularly?

Why should you see a dentist regularly?

Our patients will know that at our practice we call regular routine visits and examinations,“Active Maintenance”.

We use this term on purpose because these visits are far more than a “check up” and are much more important than many people realize.

Keeping abreast of the latest advances in oral health research helps us to be able to keep the high standards of care that our patients really appreciate. A thorough clinical exam, oral cancer screen, professional clean and fluoride treatment are included routinely as part of an Active Maintenance visit at Sherwood Dental.

We use this term on purpose because these visits are far more than a “check up” and are much more important than many people realize.

Keeping abreast of the latest advances in oral health research helps us to be able to keep the high standards of care that our patients really appreciate. A thorough clinical exam, oral cancer screen, professional clean and fluoride treatment are included routinely as part of an Active Maintenance visit at Sherwood Dental.

Early Detection

Active Maintenance visits help to find small problems early so they can be addressed before becoming a painful and expensive burden or inconvenience… hence avoiding a painful emergency situation, also saving time and money.

This is important because the most common oral health problems including active decay, gingivitis and even periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) can be completely “silent” and not even noticed until they are very advanced.

Just like servicing the car …

…the time and effort it takes to make regular Active Maintenance visits greatly outweighs the inconvenience and expense of having an avoidable, time consuming and painful problem.

How often to see the dentist

The intervals between Active Maintenance visits at our practice are most commonly 6 months but can vary depending other oral and health factors. Some patients have higher risk factors, including family health history, chemotherapy or other medications may mean adjusting these intervals for certain patients to ensure the best care.
Most Sherwood Dental patients visit us for regular examinations and professional cleans That way they can receive optimal preventative care. Our patients are able to then maintain ideal dental health and hygiene between visits without being concerned about avoidable problems arising at the most inconvenient times.
This all too often means that many potential problems like a broken tooth, tooth abscesses needing root canal, or even tooth extractions can be avoided.

An Unfortunate Cycle

Some patients visit when they have a concern or even a painful problem in their mouth. When these patients start regular Active Maintenance and have they oral health stabilized, they no longer find themselves having to deal with one unpredictable dental emergency after another.
The benefits of having fresher breath, a renewed confidence to smile and to eat the food they like is such a relief. It also removes the constant worry about whether another painful emergency is just around the corner.

A Personalized Plan 

No two patients are alike so the Active Maintenance visit also includes a chat and advice about any required areas of FOCUS for oral hygiene between visits.
We team up with our patients to create a plan and identify any particular areas to REVIEW at the next visit.
If you are concerned that you may have some risk factors associated with gum disease; or if you would like to have an assessment and an active maintenance plan to specifically address your particular needs, we’d like to help. Please call our friendly team for an appointment or visit sherwooddental.com.au

Tips for Flossing your Teeth

Flossing Habits Sherwood Dental 2

Flossing Do’s and Don’ts

Flossing your teeth should be a daily habit for everyone. Understanding the importance of flossing daily is one thing. Getting into the habit of actually doing it is another. The more we floss and the healthier our gums are, the less sensitivity we have when flossing.

The more practice you have, the easier, quicker and more effective your technique will become.

DO hold your floss properly. Wrap it around your middle fingers and using thumb and index finger to control a short mid-section. Like this:

DON’T be miserly with your floss. You  will find it easier, quicker and more effective when using a 30-40cm length of floss. If the length is too short, it will be difficult to hold and control and may also fray quicker.

DO remember to floss ALL your teeth. The old saying that you only needing to floss the teeth you want to keep is a good one to keep in mind.

DON’T think that mouthwash is just as effective as flossing. It just isn’t. Mouthwash kills bacteria that sits on the outer surface of plaque. The mechanical action of flossing removes the plaque altogether.

DO floss all sides using the floss. Floss is most important for cleaning the “contact” (C) point between 2 teeth and for cleaning under the gumline at the base of each tooth.  

Allow the floss to gently slide down the tooth, below the gum line. This should be repeated for the adjacent tooth as well. (A and B)

DON’T pull the floss back and forth between your teeth. This can cause damage to the tooth and gum. Always use an up and down “scraping” motion using the floss in a C-shape.

DON’T pull the floss down onto your gum. Always direct the pressure against the side of your tooth, not in the direction of your gum. Using the floss in a C-Shape around your tooth will help with this.

DO brush after flossing. Flossing dislodges debris which it may still remain in between or around your teeth.

DON’T floss many times a day. Just floss effectively once a day. 

DO floss when you have enough time available so that you do a good job. Removing plaque and bacteria just before bedtime is a good idea because when we sleep, saliva flow reduces making our mouth less protected from bacterial damage.

DON’T be concerned if you notice a little blood after flossing. If this continues after 3-4 days of daily flossing, give us a call as your soft tissue health may need to be checked.

DON’T ignore areas where floss is starting to catch or snag. This could indicate a problem with your tooth or perhaps with a filling or crown in that area. Give us a call if this occurs to avoid dislodging your dental work. 

Dental Health Tips for Seniors

Senior’s Week 2017


Many people don’t think about seeing a dentist until something happens to a tooth.


It can be quite stressful to start to look at finding a dentist when you have a tooth that has cracked or you are in pain. Having already found a trusted dentist or dental practice can make a huge difference in such an emergency.


We recommend a regular visit to keep an eye on your dental health. This way any changes that occur to your teeth or soft tissue can be addressed early and quickly.


Emergencies never happen at a convenient time. Just like a good doctor, when you find a dentist you like and trust, you know you have someone to call when you have a question or dental problem.

Some tips on finding the dentist for you:

Are they local?

Are they easy to access with parking or public transport and ground floor entry?

Do they offer the kinds of services you may need? For example good quality crowns, denture care or dental implants.


What should you expect at your first visit.

At your first visit, did you feel comfortable?

Did you feel well informed and have any concerns addressed?

Was the setting and staff professional but also friendly and attentive?

A word on Private Health Insurance:

Beware if health funds recommending their “preferred providers” or “contracted dentists” for a reduced out of pocket expense. If you can find a dentist that isn’t contracted to a private health fund, you are much more likely to receive the important benefits of continuity of care with your dentist. Australian Dental Association have helpful information regarding private health insurance.

If you’d like to get to know Sherwood Dental you can pop in or give us a call on 3379 9300… or…


If it has been some time since your last visit and you really would like to get your oral health back on track, you may like our FRESH START program.

Australia’s most common health problem

Have you ever experienced tooth decay? If you said yes then you’re with the majority of Australians

While it seems like a fair assumption to say that Australia’s most common health problem would be the flu, or any number of other medical concerns, surprisingly tooth decay is the most common health problem in Australia.

Over 90% of adults have experienced tooth decay according to the survey “Adult oral health and dental visiting in Australia” which was conducted by the Institute of Health and welfare.

Avoid the confusion: tooth decay is preventable

Did you know Australia’s most common health problem is actually avoidable?

A study conducted by the Australian Dental Association reported that 57% of Australians believed tooth decay was inevitable.

Dr Craig Duval and the team at Sherwood Dental are committed to turning these worrying statistics around, one patient at a time. Our dental professionals believe that the first step of change is creating a better understanding about oral health.

The fact that dental decay is preventable is paramount in the effort to turn Australians’ dental health around.

There are 11 million newly decaying teeth in Australia every year


That is roughly the same amount of decaying teeth as the entire population of Greece!

Each of these decaying teeth represents potential discomfort, time and money for the person. By adopting healthy dental habits, as well as regular visits to the dentist, many of these teeth could have been protected.

Did you know tooth decay is 5 times more common in children than asthma?

Further research conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellness found that 48.7% of Australian children between the ages of five and six years have experienced dental decay in the past.

Furthermore, the average number of teeth with cavities per child was 2. This research also stated that tooth decay is 5 times more common in children than asthma.

More Australians than not avoid visiting the dentist

Over 61% of Australian adults have an intermediate or unfavourable pattern of visiting the dentist. These figures also coincide with an overwhelming amount of dental concerns, compared to the 39% who enjoyed a more favourable dental visiting pattern.

These figures were found in the survey “Improving oral health and dental care for Australians” conducted by the University of Adelaide.

So what can you do?

While these figures can be alarming, it’s important to realise that your dentist is here to take care of your teeth, not to pass judgement about dental cavities. At Sherwood Dental we practice blame-free dentistry; Dr Crag Duval is only concerned with your comfort while you are visiting us and the health of your teeth.

The four steps towards great oral health

You can strive to avoid dental cavities by performing these 4 steps:

  • Brushing twice daily
  • Flossing once daily
  • Seeing the dentist every 6 months
  • Leading a healthy lifestyle

It is important to note that while brushing and flossing are essential parts, these steps alone will not provide you with 100% protection. Regular exams and x-rays can identify problems sooner, like decay, failing fillings, cracks and abscesses. In addition to intercepting problems, these appointments can help to prevent concerns before they even develop. A full examination, clean, fluoride treatment and any necessary x-rays can help to remove plaque and tartar that can cause tooth decay.

If you would like to know more about dental decay, or to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Craig Duval and our Sherwood dental professionals.