How to floss your teeth


A guide to help you floss your teeth:

You have made a life changing step and decided it is time to floss your teeth, this guide will help you learn to floss your teeth.

  1. Begin with dispensing approx. 30cm of dental floss.
  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around each middle finger, leaving a few centimetres of floss to work with.
  3. Holding the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide the floss gently up-and-down between the teeth.
  4. To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth

It is highly recommend to floss daily. Flossing is important to remove plaque and debris from between your teeth- places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach.

Which dental floss do I buy?

Our favourite floss is Colgate total.  There are similar flosses in other brands.  The floss should be a ribbon shape rather than a cotton string shape.  It should also have a thin wax coating so it can easily slide between your teeth.

Thicker flosses can be better at cleaning but they can be very difficult to use.  If it becomes a chore to floss, you will no longer do it every day!

Flossing has been shown to decrease the spread of inflammatory cells into your blood stream, helping to improve your general health.



How to brush your teeth


A Guide to help Brush your Teeth:

You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but you may be surprised.  Remember you should brush for at least two minutes.

Starting at the back, position the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, direct the bristles at the margin where the gum and teeth meet. Gently brush in a circular motion. Be careful not to brush too hard and avoid scrubbing from side to side. Scrubbing too hard and particularly in a side to side motion can cause damage to the tooth enamel and can cause your gums to recede over a period of time.

Take care and clean each section and surface as follows:

• Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth.

• Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth – This step is often missed

• Clean the biting surfaces

• And don’t forget to brush your tongue too. Brushing your tongue reduces bacteria in your mouth, helping your breathe stay fresh. To brush your tongue, push the bristles on the tongue and gently brush forward to the tip.


– images courtesy of Colgate

If you use an electric powered toothbrush, position the toothbrush at the same 45 degree angle and ensure the bristles are positioned where the gum and teeth meet.  Electric toothbrushes supply all the movement for you. All you need to do is simply guide the brush slowly from tooth to tooth, stopping for a few seconds on each one. Do this for every surface for each tooth.

When you have finished, spit out the toothpaste and don’t rinse with water. Leaving some toothpaste on your teeth gives your teeth some extra ongoing protection.


What toothbrush should I buy?

We prefer the small head Colgate ultra compact head toothbrush.  This toothbrush has a smaller head to reach tighter areas.  At the same time it is not so small that you feel like it is a baby toothbrush.  As a manual toothbrush, we find the circular inserts work in a similar way to our dental cleaning tools.


When Should I replace my Toothbrush?

Replacing your brush should take place when the bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.


How Often Should I Brush my Teeth?

At least twice daily. Brush in the morning and at night before bed.


How Long Should I Brush my Teeth for?

It’s all in the timing – you should brush for at least two minutes.


Am I Pressing too Hard with my Toothbrush?

It is a common mistake for people to think that pressing harder on your teeth cleans them better. The fact is, too much pressure and ‘scrubbing’ can damage your gums and tooth enamel.  A good indicator is if the bristles on your toothbrush are wearing out quickly and well before the three month mark.


Brush or Floss First?

We recommend flossing first before brushing. By doing so, you remove plaque and debris from between your teeth. These surfaces then become accessible to clean when you brush.
Although it is not critical which order, the important thing is that you do both.


Wanting to also learn how to floss?  Click through to find out more.

dental phobia anxious


You know you are overdue to visit the dentist but like many people, you don’t like visiting the dentist.  Below are 4 reasons to help you take that first step to improving your dental health by managing your anxiety at the dentist.  Believe it or not, it is possible to change your experience at the dentist.

  1. Do you have a fear of needles?  If you require treatment we have the WAND – This is computerised numbing.   Using a small machine to carefully measure and dispense the anaesthetic, and a fine and delicate wand to administer the anaesthetic, means that numbing is now far more comfortable.   Invented by Milestone Scientific it still uses a very fine needle but with a topical cream applied prior to numbing the aim is to feel nothing at all.  We no longer use the traditional hand held syringes that can induce so much fear.
  2. Have you tried Laughing Gas?  Also known as  Nitrous Oxide sedation, it is very powerful at helping you relax during your appointment.  You remain awake but it reduces your fear and anxiety making it easier to be comfortable throughout your dental treatment.  It can also numb the mouth a little and at the end of your appointment, you return to normal.  Ask at your appointment if you are suitable for nitrous oxide sedation.
  3. You can also try ORAQIX – Oraqix is an anaesthetic combination designed to deliver needle free numbing of the gums to enable better pain free teeth cleaning.  It is perfectly suited to those who find it very painful on the gums, when they have their teeth cleaned.  It wears off in 30mins,  returning that numb feeling to normal, usually by the time you have finished your appointment.  Ask at your appointment if you are suitable for Oraqix.
  4. Who can go past excellent Customer Service?  We pride ourselves on the very best customer service we can possibly provide.  Dr Barbara is a gentle, caring dentists with empathy that will help you understand your treatment plan and adjust it to your needs and desires.  Our practice is  architect designed and above all comfortable, designed to offer a relaxed home like feel.

Call us today (07) 3839 7279 or book online and take the first steps to enjoying the Dentist.

Healthy Smile Dentist


I often get asked how often do I need to have my teeth clean and check at the dentist?  In short, every one is different and we determine the time frame based on the health of your teeth.

Traditionally it was 6 monthly for a check and clean.  Over the last 20 years I have found that those that do attend regularly often have far healthier mouths than those who do not, and this observation is based on 6 monthly checks and cleans.

If you suffer from gum disease 3 or 4 monthly visits to have your teeth cleaned it very important in controlling the active phases of gum disease.  If we can control these phases, we hope to keep your teeth for life.  The more active phases you have, the sooner your teeth will lose bone around them, become mobile and fall out.

If you know you have a high sugar diet, consume excess soft drink and sport drink, then 6 monthly is critical.  You will most certainly be at higher risk of tooth decay, and catching this early will mean smaller holes in your teeth.

If you are one of the lucky ones who has perfect teeth and healthy gums, then we may even extend your visits to 12 monthly.



At Leichhardt Street Dental Practice we accept all health funds for processing with our Hicaps facility.

What will my health fund pay and how much will my treatment cost?

We have on the spot health fund claiming with HICAPS.  You swipe your health fund card and pay the gap only.  We believe our fees are great value for the quality treatment we provide and the vast range of services we offer.  A written treatment plan will always be provided and discussed outlining our fees.  Due to privacy rules your healthfund will only tell you what rebate it will pay, however if you are present we can phone from the practice and ask at the time of your appointment or do a HICAPS quote through the terminal.  Generally, the higher your level of cover, the more they will pay.  Some have paid as little as 20% and others have paid up to 80% of our fees.

Child Dental Benefits Scheme mdicare for kids


We will only request records from your previous dentist if they are necessary.  We can manage this for you by faxing a simple request.  We advise examination xrays be taken 2 yearly unless you have a history of having a lot of holes in your teeth or gum problems.

If you have implants we may also take periodic x-rays to ensure they continue to remain healthy.  We often take x-rays on you first visit to our practice as we have an advanced digital system that takes higher quality x-rays at a much lower dose and are the most useful x-rays for diagnosing any problems you may have.

Click Here to Book an appointment online today or call us on (07) 3839 7279