Author: jaysondo

Woman showing her gum disease against a white background.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and is usually caused by poor dental hygiene, but illnesses, medications and a history of family dental issues can also make some people more susceptible to gum and oral health complications. Periodontitis (the scientific name for gum disease) is often confused with gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums, but not all cases of gingivitis progress to periodontitis. However, if untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis. The main causes of both gum inflammation and gum disease include:

  • A buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque contains toxins that cause inflammation and infection. Plaque buildup is usually caused by lax dental habits, including incorrect or infrequent brushing, not flossing and not having regular checkups.
  • Medication. Some medications are associated with gum disease and inflammations as they reduce the flow of saliva which helps to protect teeth and gums by removing food debris.
  • Illness. Severe illnesses that interfere with the immune system, like cancer, hepatitis, diabetes and HIV, put people at higher risk of infections, including dental infections.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?

The onset of gum disease isn’t always apparent, which is why regular oral health checkups at your local dental specialist are vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and identifying the symptoms of periodontitis as early on as possible. These symptoms include:

  • Swollen, aggravated, red or bleeding gums
  • Pain while chewing or drinking
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath

If you have gum disease, you may also find that the teeth in the infected area feel loose. This is because periodontitis is an infection of the tissue that holds the teeth in place. This also explains why the ‘pockets’ that surround your teeth widen and deepen, trapping food and putting you at risk of further infection.
Depending on the severity of the infection, your dental specialist may need to refer you to a periodontist (a specialist in gum disease diagnosis and treatment) for treatment. This is only for severe cases, so to avoid a situation in which a surgical procedure like a bone graft or pocket reduction surgery is required, if you notice any of the symptoms of gum disease, book a checkup at your local dentist.

Gum Disease Treatment

The primary objective with gum disease treatment is controlling the infection and preventing it from spreading. Antibiotics may be prescribed and non-surgical procedures that your local dentist may use to treat periodontitis include:

  • Dental cleaning. Treating gum disease usually involves removing plaque and tartar (a buildup of plaque that’s hardened) from the teeth and below the gumline.  
  • Scaling and root planing. This is a more advanced teeth cleaning and scaling (removing tartar buildup) procedure that also involves ‘planing’ (smoothing) rough spots on the root of the tooth to provide the gums with a clean surface to reattach to.

Book a checkup online at King Street Dental Group in Templestowe, or contact us on 03 9841 8033 to speak with a team member about the services our dental specialists provide. 

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Dentist starting teeth whitening procedure with young man.

Over the Counter vs Professional Teeth Whitening

There are many benefits to teeth whitening, from enhancing your smile and overall facial appearance to making you look (and feel) younger and, for some people, even giving you a more positive outlook on life because of the confidence boost teeth whitening can deliver. While there are many advantages associated with whitening and brightening your smile, it’s very important to make the right decisions about the teeth whitening treatment you use.
In Australia, teeth whitening products are safe to use and won’t damage your teeth (as long as you follow the instructions with at-home treatments). However, there’s a significant price gap between some at-home (over the counter) treatments and professional treatments, and some treatments are significantly more effective than others. Naturally, you want the best results at the right price, so here we look at over-the-counter vs in-clinic teeth whitening.

Ease Of Use

How easy is the treatment? This isn’t a concern with the in-clinic teeth whitening procedures our experienced dentist in Templestowe offers, but if you’re opting for an over the counter teeth whitening treatment, you’ll need to find one that’s simple and straightforward to use.
Many people who’ve tried at-home teeth whitening treatments find them difficult to use, with most products requiring multiple treatments. In fact, some at-home teeth whitening kits must be applied 1-2 times per day for up to 2 hours over the course of several weeks. With professional teeth whitening on the other hand, there’s just a single visit to your local dentist.


How effective is the teeth whitening treatment? This is an important consideration when comparing over-the-counter products and professional procedures. While an at-home teeth whitening product may seem more affordable at first, if you need to apply it more than once it could be significantly more expensive in the long run.
Don’t forget that most at-home kits can only make your teeth 2-4 times whiter while a professional procedure performed by a qualified teeth whitening dentist can make your teeth 8-16 times whiter. That’s a significant difference and a major reason why more people are opting for professional in-clinic teeth whitening instead of over-the-counter kits. What’s more, some over-the-counter kits for use at home, like teeth whitening strips, provide inconsistent results because they can’t whiten the areas around the crevices of your teeth.
At King Street Dental Group, we use a specially formulated hydrogen peroxide whitening gel that entirely covers your teeth and, when activated by a state-of-the-art LED light, breaks down to allow oxygen to penetrate through the dentine and enamel, lifting discolouration from the tooth without affecting its structure. This provides consistent and effective results, brightening your smile by around eight shades (on average). We also offer Zoom Teeth Whitening, which is one of the most effective at-home teeth whitening solutions in Australia.
If you’d like to learn more about the professional procedures our teeth whitening dentists offer at King Street Dental Group in Templestowe or our at-home teeth whitening solutions, please contact us on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online.

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Man choosing his dental veneer shade.

What’s the Difference Between Veneers, Crowns and Bridges?

Dental veneers, crowns and bridges are common dental treatments that can help you get your dental health back on track and boost your confidence. But which treatment is the right one for you? While your local dentist will determine whether a veneer, crown or dental bridge is the right treatment for your dental requirements, it’s advantageous to understand the differences, the processes, what’s involved and how each treatment could benefit you.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures performed today, with porcelain veneers the popular variety. Unlike crowns and dental bridges, veneers are a strictly cosmetic dental procedure that involves your dentist fitting a thin shell over the front and sides of the tooth. This covers a wide range of dental imperfections and is suitable for:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Stained teeth.

As they’re a cosmetic dental procedure, dental veneers won’t improve your oral health or restore eating functionality, however, many people find them instrumental in boosting their confidence by restoring their smile.
Main benefits: Hiding minor imperfections in teeth and boosting self-confidence with a more attractive smile.


Dental crowns are a treatment used to cover a damaged tooth (saving it from extraction) and are an effective means of preventing further damage to the tooth and restoring eating functionality. They’re also used as a cosmetic procedure to improve appearance and can be used to cover cracked, chipped or discoloured teeth. The process is quick and simple; the crown is fitted and cemented over the damaged tooth and is used in cases where a damaged tooth can’t be restored with a filling.
Main benefits: Saving the tooth from extraction, preventing further damage to the tooth, restoring eating functionality (if affected) and covering cosmetic imperfections.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are the most extensive dental treatment of the three. While dental veneers cover imperfections like cracks or chips and dental crowns are fitted on top of a single tooth, a dental bridge fills the spaces left by one or more missing teeth. Filling the spaces left by missing teeth helps people eat better (and enjoy eating), prevents facial misalignment (sunken cheeks, for example) and can boost self-confidence with a restored smile.
A variety of dental bridges are available, with the most common type consisting of a crown at both ends of the bridge that are placed over the teeth either side of the gap. Other dental bridges involve a more extensive process and require dental implants which hold the bridge in place. These dental bridges are used to fill the spaces left by multiple missing teeth and can even be used to replace the entire row of teeth on the upper or lower jaw. 
Main benefits: Filling spaces left by missing teeth, restoring eating functionality, maintaining facial shape and boosting confidence by restoring a natural smile.
To book an appointment at our family dental clinic or find out more about veneers, crowns, dental bridges and the other dental services we offer, please contact King Street Dental Group on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online

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Closeup of woman eating chocolate cake in a café.

The 5 Most Common Causes of Dental Cavities

A cavity is a hole that forms in a tooth as the enamel (the hard outer coating) and dentin (the inner layer) decays. Cavities are one of the most common dental conditions and everyone is at risk, from infants to children, teenagers and adults. The damage worsens if untreated and can lead to further dental problems, like periodontitis and other types of gum disease.

Cavity Treatments

Depending on the severity of the cavity and your dental health, a few options are available. The most common treatments for cavities are fillings and crowns, however, if the decay is more extensive or the surrounding area is affected due to infection or gum disease, a root canal or tooth extraction may be required. Consequently, if you have a cavity, you need to see a dentist. Here are five of the most common causes of cavities.


Plaque, a sticky film that covers your teeth and hardens into tartar, is caused by not cleaning your teeth properly, consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks, or as is the case for many children and teenagers, a combination of the two. Plaque forms when starches and sugars aren’t removed from the teeth and bacteria turns them into plaque, which in turn hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar can’t be removed with a regular toothbrush, only with special dental tools, which is why regular dental checkups are so important to preventing cavities.


It isn’t only foods that are high in refined sugar, like soft drinks, ice cream and sweets that can cause tooth decay, as even natural foods like milk, honey and dried fruits that cling to your teeth can cause cavities. That doesn’t mean you should avoid these foods altogether, though you should be aware and brush your teeth or chew (sugar-free) gum afterwards.


Snacking on chips, cookies, juice and sugary drinks throughout the day is a leading cause of calories. However, it’s important to understand that snacking on anything without brushing your teeth, chewing gum or rinsing your mouth out with water afterwards to remove food can cause cavities. Having said that, if you need a snack, a healthy snack is the way to go.

Dental routine

As plaque forms quickly, it’s vital to brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking to prevent a cavity that needs a filling or crown, but there’s more to a good dental routine than regular brushing. If you’re to avoid cavities, you need to floss regularly and go for regular checkups at your local dentist to have your teeth properly cleaned.


People with poor general health are more susceptible to dental problems like cavities and tooth decay, especially those with gastroesophageal reflux disease or heartburn, or eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. These conditions bring stomach acid into the mouth which destroys the enamel on your teeth and interfere with the production of saliva.
Regular dental checkups, healthy diet and good dental routines are the best ways to avoid cavities. To book a checkup at our family dental clinic or learn more about our services, contact King Street Dental Group today on 03 9841 8033 or book an appointment online

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Zoomed image of a woman showing her gingivitis issue

Deal with Gingivitis Before It Knocks Out Your Teeth

Although gingivitis is not a widely understood word, it’s a medical condition that’s far more common than one might imagine.

The Journal of the American Dental Association states that a majority of adults suffer from gingivitis, an early symptom of periodontal – or gum – disease. It is an infection of the gums caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the surface of teeth. It could also be hereditary, caused by smoking, or result from hormonal changes occurring during menopause, menstruation, pregnancy, and puberty.

If left unchecked, gingivitis could lead to severe gum inflammation, bleeding, and periodontitis, resulting in the loss of teeth. It could also cause abscesses and infection in the jawbone – and, in extreme cases, trigger cardiovascular or lung disease.

Fortunately, most methods of dealing with gingivitis are not only DIY, but affordable as well.


Brush away the problem

Dental specialists are unanimous in their emphasis on regular flossing (at least twice a day) and correct brushing. You must hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth in order to cover both the gum and the tooth surface. Strokes need to be made in an upward direction so that the brush cleans the gum, passes over the gum line (where plaque accumulates), and then over the tooth. A circular motion would have to be adopted when brushing continuously, but as this might prove difficult at certain angles, it would help to invest in an electric rotary toothbrush.


Make that calcium connection

As gingivitis could lead to periodontal osteoporosis, a deterioration of the jawbone manifested by shrinking and brittleness, you should increase your intake of calcium by including dark greens, dairy products, and salmon in your diet. In addition to this, adopt an exercise regimen and avoid smoking.


A little extra care goes a long way

Apart from these measures, there are other remedial steps that you could take to make gingivitis a problem of the past. A regular massage of the gums using the thumb and index finger on either side will help increase blood circulation and hasten recovery. A once-a-day mouthwash will control bacterial build-up. And a lifestyle change with the accent on R&R will reduce stress, which is a contributing factor in almost all health-related problems.

Whatever course of action you choose to adopt, it wouldn’t cost much to take professional advice along the way.

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new dentist

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Dentist for Your Family

Whether you’ve moved to a new place or are simply looking for a new dentist, finding quality dental care for your family can be a bit overwhelming. However, caring for your family’s teeth is essential for their health, especially if you have young children, and regular dental checkups are key. Before you choose a new dentist for your family, do your research and ask smart questions. This way, you can find a dental professional whose practice will be a perfect fit for your family’s needs.


What will my insurance cover?

Before you do anything else, your first step is to find out exactly what your insurance will cover. Not every dentist will take every kind of insurance, of course, and every insurance policy differs. Instead of spending your time calling around to multiple offices, call your insurance provider directly and ask them for a list of practices that they will work with. Taking this step can save you hours of hassle and a lot of trouble in the long run.


What is their dental philosophy?

Different dental offices have very different philosophies of care. For example, each dentist will have his or her own opinion on issues like pain management, anxiety prevention, and even sedation. While these differences are important to note for adults, they can make all the difference for a child. Will the dentist be able to provide the treatment options that you want? How do they deal with fearful children? Find out the answers to these questions before you book your first appointment.


Will they meet all of my family’s needs?

Just as every family is different, each family’s dental needs will be unique. For example, if you have a child with special needs, such as a sensory disorder, you’ll want to find a dentist who understands and can provide specialized services for that child. If you have older children who may need braces, find a dental practice that can provide braces or alignment alternatives. Or, if family members have cosmetic needs, look for a dentist that offers teeth whitening.


Is their location convenient?

No matter how good the website is, you can’t judge a dental practice just by its online presence. Instead, visit the office yourself before you call. This way, you will also be able to find out if it is in a convenient location, near main roads or public transportation. That will be especially important to note if you’ll ever need a ride home after an appointment. Finally, make sure that their location is in a safe neighborhood where you’ll feel comfortable visiting regularly.


Do I like the people there?

Before you make appointments for the rest of your family, go in for treatment yourself. That way, you can have a first-hand experience with the dental professionals and their staff before you take in your children. Make sure that you feel respected by the team, that the environment is welcoming, and that you are happy with the results.

It’s crucial that children learn the importance of taking care of their teeth. A good relationship with your new family dentist can set them up for years of good dental health and a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

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Two kids happily brushing their teeth

What Is the Right Way to Brush?

Proper brushing takes at least two minutes. That’s right, 120 seconds! A good suggestion would be to use a timer; either digital or a simple miniature hour glass timer. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restorations. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:

  • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Clean the chewing surfaces
  • For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue and hard palate (roof of the mouth)
Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline.Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

How Important is the Toothpaste I Use? 
What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.

It is important that you use a toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpastes designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. In general any fluoride containing toothpaste is suitable, with children under six advised to use a low fluoride junior toothpaste.  Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which toothpaste is right for you.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

If you would like a full consultation with one of our friendly dentist call us on 9826-3633 for patients wanting to see a Toorak dentistSouth Yarra dentistPrahran dentistMalvern dentistHawthorne dentist and surrounding. Otherwise, we have our other practice located in Melbourne’s western suburbs to cater for patients seeking a Sunshine dentistBraybrook dentistSt Albans dentistFootscray dentistMaidstone dentistMaribyrnong dentistCaroline Springs dentist and surrounding suburbs.


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Two differnt images of young women wearing braces and invisalign


Are you looking to realign your teeth and create a straight, beautiful smile? Braces may be the answer for you. Depending on your budget and dental health situation there are at least two types of braces you can get: Invisalign and Fixed braces. When thinking about which type of braces you may want, it is important to consider the costs, the actual procedure and your personal preference. In the end, one option may be better suited than another.

Occasionally, when you lose your milk teeth as a child and your permanent, “adult” teeth come through, they might not grow at the right angle or they may even grow with big gaps between them. Eventually this could lead to having lots of crooked teeth and a gappy smile. Fixed braces and Invisalign can help with that.

There are many types of braces now as teeth straightening options have expanded and fixed braces are no longer the only solution. Some braces include Metal, Ceramic or Invisalign.

If you’re thinking of getting Metal braces, then you will be looking at the conventional type with elastics and brackets. The whole process for applying Full Fixed braces may only take between 30 and 90 minutes. It involves polishing and preparing teeth before applying a glue for the brackets. Occasionally, you may feel tender after your braces have been tightened but normal painkillers can help with this. You will have to brush your teeth more often and with greater care than normal. Maintaining a good diet will help keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Invisalign – on the other hand – involves modern technology and combines it with the some of the most advanced digital orthodontic treatments. It allows your teeth to move gradually and in a predictable way. You will need less visits to a clinic than with fixed braces and as they are removable, you can continue to enjoy your favourite foods while remaining more comfortable every day. Some clients may have concerns about maintaining good oral health with braces. Invisalign allows you to brush and floss your teeth as usual and as the aligners are removable, you can clean them to assist in keeping a high standard of dental hygiene. For Invisalign, you will have an initial consultation with your dentist and this is your chance to discuss whether invisble aligners are right option for you. Your doctor will then map out your orthodontic treatment plan. They do this by either taking physical impressions of your teeth or using an advanced 3D digital image scanner. As your dentist maps out your treatment plan, they will be reviewing the exact movements and even the duration of your treatment. Using Invisalign is a gradual process and you may have to change your aligners every week to maintain the gentle shift of your teeth. Your checkups can be scheduled every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on your situation.

It is important to consider the differences in cost, pain, preference and look when deciding on which braces treatment you will choose. Call Care Family Dental today for more information.

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Dentist with tooth color samples choosing shade for male patient teeth at dental clinic

How Veneers Can Improve Your Smile

Nowadays, most cosmetic dental procedures are as easy and common as regular dental work. They can also help with self-confidence, appearance and support you in achieving a better, brighter smile. Most common cosmetic procedures are fairly easy and only a few require more sessions and a bit of complex work.

One such relatively simple procedure is getting dental veneers. Veneers are incredibly popular as they enhance the overall appearance of your teeth and if you have a worn tooth – from grinding – or chipped teeth, having veneers would cover the imperfections and create a stronger smile. Getting veneers can be the best of both worlds: a cosmetic procedure that leaves you with a bright, white smile while also correcting and protecting teeth.

So what is a dental veneer and who can get one?

There are two types of dental veneers: one is porcelain and the others are made from composite resins. Depending on your situation and budget, your dentist will be able to find a veneers solution that suits you.  Veneers do require a small removal of the natural tooth – usually less than a millimeter – and this allows the dentist to create a more even smile and lets the veneers fit in your mouth as a normal tooth would. It is also essentially for the bonding agent that will hold the veneer to your natural tooth. Veneers are custom-made and individually sculpted for each client, so your smile will look natural and unlike normal teeth, veneers resist staining from coffee, tea or cigarettes, making them an ideal option for those whose teeth resist whitening.

Almost anyone can get veneers. Especially if your teeth are fractured or have gaps between them, if they’re poor in colour, shape and contours and even if there are minor-bite related problems. As with any involved cosmetic or dental procedure, make sure to consult your dentist and research your options. There are a few small downsides to getting veneers. As part of the original tooth’s enamel must be removed, this isn’t considered a reversible treatment but if you have porcelain veneers they can last up to 25 years. Also, creating porcelain veneers requires your smile analysis to be sent to a laboratory, so this isn’t a one consultation treatment.

Finally, we get to the maintenance. Maintaining your veneers is quite simple. Just make sure to continue your routine brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste and flossing every day. If you’re not sure which toothpaste to use, your doctor can recommend one. Try to avoid biting nails, chewing ice and other stresses that can damage veneers and natural teeth!

Start your journey to a well-protected, bright and white smile today!

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Image of different insurance providers logo


Sometimes getting insurance is a lengthy and arduous process but we all know how important Dental Health Insurance can be. But, is it worth it?

In most situations, you will be paying a monthly fee for your dental health insurance and – unlike medical insurance – you will be given a maximum annual coverage or benefit limit. For more Australians, this limit is between $1,000 and $2,000 and the majority of Australians never exceed their maximum benefit. This means you may never surpass your coverage limit and won’t be out of pocket. If you’re looking to have more advanced, technical procedures like root canals and crowns or bridges, you may be looking at more out of pocket costs as the price will exhaust your annual benefit limit.

Generally, your monthly dental premium will cover the basics necessary to maintain good oral health. This will include exams and cleanings and some X-Rays may be covered as well. Basic procedures like fillings may also be available under your insurance plan. Otherwise, some plans may just require a ‘gap’ payment.

The most important thing to note is, dental health insurance and oral health treatment plans are there for preventive care. They focus on looking after your teeth and dental hygiene now so no problems arise in the future.

Most insurers will have their own ‘recommended’ clinics and dentists, and this can sometimes mean a reduced fee if you have insurance with that company. On the other hand, some dentists also have preferred providers and may offer incentives for clients who take out insurance with certain businesses.

It is important to do your research in regard to dental health insurance and make sure you’re asking the right questions in regards to: what dental procedures you are likely to need soon and how much you will pay for the insurance. It is also vital to keep in mind which procedures are covered and which aren’t.

If you’re looking to purchase dental health insurance, you will be taking a step into the right direction with regards to your oral hygiene and health. Having dental insurance allows you to maintain good dental care and regular checkups without worrying about your upfront fees. Talk to Care Family Dental today for more information.

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