Plaque; what is it? A guide from our dentist

Most people have heard of it and know that it is bad when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy; plaque. But what exactly is it and why is it the bane of dental teams worldwide?


At Northern Beaches Dental, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and when it comes to plaque, our dentist Mackay will always aim to remove it and help keep your mouth in tip-top shape. With our hygienist to help us, even the most extreme cases of accumulated plaque can be removed, leaving you with a healthy, whiter smile.

Now, back to the main points; what exactly is plaque and why should you keep an eye out for it when brushing your own teeth and caring for young children? Read on to find out more from our dentist Mackay.

What is plaque?

Have you ever eaten a meal, ran your tongue over your teeth to find that they feel rough or fuzzy? That is plaque and after eating food or drinking sugary drinks, everyone has it.

According to our dentist Mackay, plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. When you eat food, the bacteria that live in the plaque produce acids that, if left for long enough, can break down the enamel on your teeth.

What can it do to your oral health?

As we mentioned earlier, everyone accumulates plaque as they go about their day; hence why our team (and any other dental team!) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day to remove it.

But, if you neglect your oral health, it can build up and the acids produced by the growing population of bacteria can cause cavities to form. Excess amounts of plaque are also linked to gum disease, such as gingivitis, which presents with inflamed gums that bleed when brushed.

When plaque hardens on the teeth, it forms tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing alone and will require professional dental intervention. If you have concerns that you have a cavity or the early signs of gum disease, please contact our team for a check-up.

How do we remove it?

Luckily, plaque is a somewhat common occurrence in our surgery and if our team has concerns about the amount you have in your mouth, we will book you in for an appointment with our hygienist.

The standard treatment for the excess plaque is a scale and polish. Here, our hygienist team will remove stubborn tartar and plaque using a specific set of abrasive tools. Not only do they remove plaque that is on the surface of your teeth, but they can also remove plaque that is underneath the gums too. This will not only prevent the likelihood of gum disease from forming but will also leave you with a great-looking smile.

How can it be prevented?

Plaque can be prevented by regular brushing and regular trips to our dental team for check-ups.

If you have concerns about gum disease or have a family history of gum disease, please talk to our team about medicated mouthwash and toothpaste.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Putting in the work to prevent more intense treatments and procedures

Working as a team; the patient and our dental professionals

When thinking about your own oral health, more often than not it is thought of as a solo mission. This is due to the majority of the care resting on the patient’s shoulders. Whilst our Dentist Mackay cannot accompany you every time you brush your teeth, it is important to know that we are working with you from the beginning and are ensuring that through educating the patients and carrying out regular dental checks, we are putting in the work to protect your teeth with you.

Focusing on the daily diet

When discussing dietary needs, very little thought is often put into place for the impact on the mouth and more focus is put on the weight of the person. The impact of the daily diet is extremely significant as the teeth, mouth and gums are at the forefront of the battle. Each food and drink consumed can impact the mouth in a positive or negative way and whilst some foods are beneficial for the body, such as fruit, when consumed in very large quantities the sugars released can cause problems within the mouth. All these things need to be considered so as to protect the long term health of the mouth which is why our Dentist Mackay will help guide and educate you in the best way forward in terms of diet for your overall oral health. This dietary plan will differ from patient to patient but all work towards the same goal of having a healthy and happy smile.

Eliminating potential odours from the mouth.

Unfortunately, whilst everyone hopes that their breath is minty fresh 100 percent of the time, more often than not, this is not the case. Whilst a quick swig of mouthwash or a chew of some gum can alleviate and remove the odour on a short term basis, the important thing is to understand and eliminate the cause of the odour.

There are numerous reasons as to why an odour may tinge the breath but one that many do not consider is a lack of hydration. By simply keeping tabs on how much water consumed throughout the day, not tea or coffee etc, this can help to resolve the problem and not only benefit the overall health of the body, but remove the potential bad breath issue. Staying hydrated is therefore key to keeping a fresh breath.

Alongside the hydration challenge, it is important to have regular check-ups with our team, so as to ensure the daily oral hygiene process is removing all potential plaque build ups. Whilst it is hoped that a simple brush can remove all food debris and avoid any plaque building up, in reality this is rarely the case. The day to day oral hygiene care often requires the use of an electric toothbrush, interdental brushes and flossing in order to stay on top of the oral hygiene process. Bad habits can often find their way into your daily oral health routines.  A visit to your Dentist Mackay will help you reset, and to create and maintain positive habits.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

A simple guide to dental abscesses from our dentist at Northern Beaches

It is considered one of the most uncomfortable conditions that most people will suffer from and it is one that will need urgent care from a dental team.


Of course, we are talking about dental abscesses. Still, a life-threatening condition if left untreated, abscesses in the mouth are exceedingly common in dentistry and are still at the top of the list relating to why people need emergency dental care.

At Northern Beaches Dental, our dentist in Mackay will always aim to see a patient suffering from a dental abscess on the same day. We will always treat you with TLC with any dental emergency and will not judge you; it’s our job to get you out of discomfort!

But what are dental infections and why are they so serious? Here is a brief guide to them from our dentist in Mackay.

What is an abscess?

In short, a dental abscess is a collection of pus and bacteria which forms either under the gumline, in the jawbone or in the tooth itself.

If you have an abscess, you will need urgent treatment from our dentist in Mackay; abscesses are considered a medical emergency. If you delay treatment, this can lead to widespread sepsis which is life-threatening in the worst instance.

Signs to look out for

If you suspect you have an abscess, a tell-tale indicator is discomfort underneath a tooth; it may feel like bruising or burning.

Secondary to this comes a fever, nausea and being physically sick. Swelling will usually follow along with a foul taste in your mouth. If you have any of these signs, contact us immediately for a same-day check-up.

Emergency dental care

When you come to see our team at Northern Beaches Dental with an abscess, we will initially aim to control it with antibiotics until the swelling goes down.

After a few days, we will need you to come back in and will either discuss having a root canal or an extraction to prevent it from coming back.

You must attend follow-up appointments that are based on abscesses, as delaying treatment can cause them to come back and cause more damage.


Once you have had either a root canal performed or had the required extraction, it is important to keep an eye out for signs of infection. Infections are more common with extractions.

Much like the abscess itself, this may include discomfort at the extraction site, swelling, discolouration and of course, feeling unwell.

Remember, any infection is an emergency, so if you suspect that you have one, please contact us immediately.

Future prevention

In some instances, abscesses happen due to accident or injury.

But if you have had a dental abscess, you will want to prevent it from occurring again and the easiest way to do this is by maintaining a high level of dental hygiene.

You may also want to visit our hygienist for a scale and polish once a year and of course, we recommend that you attend check-ups every 6 months.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Why would a dentist recommend wisdom teeth extractions?

At Northern Beaches Dental, our friendly dentist Mackay offers a variety of treatments and procedures that look to protect dental health and alleviate symptoms associated with numerous types of dental issues, including dental pain and discomfort created by wisdom teeth.


Wisdom teeth have the reputation of being a bit of a conundrum for patients. Once required by our ancient forebears to chew hard food items such as roots and nuts, softer foods available in the modern age mean that we no longer need to use these ‘third molars’ as they are often referred to.

These third molars typically erupt between the ages of 18 and 25 with different patients experiencing different symptoms. Some patients are fortunate enough not to experience any symptoms at all and can live with their wisdom teeth intact without any problems. Others are not as fortunate and have to endure excruciating, unbearable pain as these wisdom teeth make their way into the mouth. But this is not the end of the associated concerns. We take a look at some of the problems caused by wisdom teeth and why our dentist Mackay may find it necessary to remove these teeth.

Common reasons that necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth

There are many oral issues that are a result of wisdom teeth erupting. These include a range of problems.

Unbearable pain

This is by far the most common type of wisdom tooth related symptom, widely complained about by our patients. As wisdom teeth make their way above the gum line, they are sometimes a source of immense pain that does not go away until intervention from our dentist Mackay is sought.

Putting oral hygiene at risk

It may happen that wisdom teeth fail to erupt as they should; they have either got stuck below the gum line or only a part of the tooth has appeared. The latter can result in extra gum tissue developing around the partially developed tooth, making it easy for food and bacteria to be trapped in the area and increasing the risk of infections occurring. If you suspect this is happening make an appointment with us immediately.

Cysts may develop

Sacs of fluid (or cysts) may develop in the area where wisdom teeth are still developing.

Any patient concerned about their wisdom teeth, even if they have not experienced any pain, should have their teeth examined by a dental practitioner to ascertain the likelihood of potential dental issues. It must be remembered that there is the possibility that symptom-free teeth may be exposed to dental diseases, which is why regular check-ups at the dentist are so highly recommended. A dental practitioner will need to conduct a close examination of your teeth to determine the best suitable course of action.

Northern Beaches Dental offers a patient-focused philosophy, one that encourages all our patients to voice their concerns regarding their dental health. For a consultation for a particular dental issue or to have a regular check-up performed for your peace of mind, get in touch with our reception desk to arrange an appointment.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Is dragging your child to see your dentist worth it? 5 reasons it is from our friendly dentists at Northern Beaches Dental

If you have a child or children, then you will want to do what is best for their general overall health.


And, as unpopular as it may make you, this includes getting them to attend regular dental check-ups.

In Australia, it is advised that you get your child to attend a dental appointment by the time their first tooth has come through. There are many reasons for this; firstly, it allows for them to get used to dental professionals and it also helps you learn how to care for their teeth.

At Northern Beaches Dental, we are always eager to help parents care for their children’s teeth. Our dentist Mackay can show you how to ensure that your children receive the best dental care possible while teaching them the importance of good oral hygiene. And of course, we make it fun, so they will develop a healthy association with dental care and not become an anxious or avoidant patient in their adult years!

So, what are some of the reasons to get your child to see our dentist Mackay as early as possible? Read on to find out!

Reduces cavities

The enamel on children’s teeth is thinner than the enamel on adult teeth. Mix that with regular sweets and you have a problem!

One key way to reduce cavities and decay is to have your child visit our dentist Mackay from an early age to show them how to take care of their teeth and to teach them why sugary and acidic foods are bad. Education is one of the aims of our team and it also helps them to learn about their general health too!

Prevents gum disease

Sweets plus poorer brushing can lead to gum disease, even in young children.

And should our team spot an issue with periodontal disease with your child, we will be able to prescribe acid neutralising mouthwash and toothpaste, while also removing excess plaque. Without regular check-ups, children can lose their teeth to gum disease, so it’s well worth a 5-minute check-up!


One benefit of having early years dental appointments is that it allows our team to prevent orthodontic issues.

Typically, this will occur around the age of 7, but with modern technology, we can predict orthodontic issues and prepare for them, so your child won’t have to wear orthodontics or metal braces for an extended period.


We have brushed on this earlier in the article, but a key reason for your children to visit our team early in life is to allow them to feel comfortable with not only us, but the dental surgery environment too.

Early exposure to a dental team helps your child to become accustomed to check-ups and studies have found that this equates to better oral health later in life.

Long term habits

By having your child attend check-ups every 6 months, it helps them to build good habits surrounding dental care and oral health.

They are more likely to attend appointments as adults, reducing serious dental problems.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Not sure what to expect when seeing an emergency dentist? Read on!

Most people are familiar with visiting their dentist every 6 months for a check-up, which is generally considered a minor irritation for most patients.


However, as is the way with life, there are often times when between visits, unforeseen things happen, causing you to need another appointment. And, as is the way with dental care, these things are usually the result of something uncomfortable or something breaking.

But, if it is your first time seeing an emergency dental team, you may have some general queries about what to expect and the general procedure surrounding emergency appointments.

Should your emergency appointment send you to Northern Beaches Dental, our emergency dentist in Mackay will ensure that you are treated with a lot of TLC. As we merge dental emergencies into our daily appointments, we will always be able to see you within 24 hours of you calling but will aim to have you seen on the same day. Great news if you have a sore tooth!

So, what can you expect from a visit to our emergency dentist in Mackay? Read on to find out!

What is considered a dental emergency?

Firstly, while they are associated with discomfort, there are many dental emergencies that may not be uncomfortable.

You will need to see our dentist in Mackay if you have dental pain, swelling, a loose or lost filling/crown, a chipped or cracked tooth, profuse bleeding from your mouth or if you have a loose tooth.

If you are uncertain if you have a dental emergency, ask our friendly reception team!

I’ve chipped a tooth- should I hold onto the fragments?


If you have a chipped tooth but have managed to hold onto the fragments, our team may be able to reattach them to the tooth using composite. If you lose the fragments, don’t worry- we will still be able to repair the tooth with a composite crown or filling.

What can I expect at an emergency appointment?

You can expect to undertake a routine examination, with the primary focus revolving around fixing the cause of the issue.

We will always aim to resolve discomfort while correcting the problem and, if needed, we will book you in for a follow-up appointment.

Will I need a follow-up with my regular dental team?

Even if our emergency team does not book you in for a follow-up appointment with your regular dental practitioner, it is always wise to have a general appointment in the week following an emergency.

In cases where there has been a dental abscess, you will need to see your dental team to have a root canal performed or another preventive procedure.

How can I avoid emergencies in the future?

In short, to avoid dental emergencies, it is important to stay on top of oral hygiene and to maintain 6 monthly appointments with our team.

If you notice a minor issue when brushing your teeth, don’t delay in having it treated and book an appointment as soon as you can.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Need a root canal performed? 5 benefits you may have overlooked from our dentist in Mackay

Getting over a cracked tooth or recent dental infection is rarely fun and, while it can seem easier to simply have the affected tooth removed, this may not be the best long-term solution.


Dental infections are common and are typically caused by bacteria getting into the pulp of the tooth and causing inflammation; as the inflammation and swelling cannot go anywhere as they are surrounded by bone, an uncomfortable abscess forms and causes discomfort. Alternatively, if you have recently had a trauma to your mouth, this process may occur due to cracks forming and the bacteria accessing the pulp that way.

So, aside from having an extraction, how else can you prevent these unpleasant issues from recurring?

Our team at Northern Beaches can help! Our dentist Mackay can restore your smile and your dental health following an infection with endodontics; or, as you may know it, a root canal. A simple procedure that removes infected debris, this is the easiest way to keep your smile intact and allows you to prevent any recurrent infections at the same time. Brilliant!

But what are some of the other advantages of having a root canal performed by our dentist Mackay? Read on to find out!


Yes, we have already mentioned this, but when you consider the alternative to having a root canal, which would be an extraction, this becomes all the more important. For instance, if your infected tooth is at the front of your mouth, you are unlikely to want an extraction performed!

Our dentist Mackay will clean the tooth and top it off with a composite filling or crown, so the tooth looks the same as the rest of your smile with no unpleasant side-effects.


Of course, a root canal also restores the function of the tooth.

Following an infection, your tooth may feel sensitive to pressure or heat, making it difficult to eat. As we will remove the infected debris and assist in the healing with antibiotics, your tooth will be as strong as ever, allowing you to bite and chew as you did before the infection.


If you have an infection anywhere in the body, there is an ever-present risk of it spreading.

While a full extraction may remove the source of the infection, it does not prevent it from affecting the surrounding tissues and teeth. A root canal removes all of the infected debris and offers a deep clean, keeping the remaining area hygienic.


A gap in your teeth not only looks unappealing, but it is also unhygienic; plaque can form on the surrounding teeth and on the gum line, potentially leading to decay and gum disease.

A root canal keeps everything where it needs to be and doesn’t heighten the chances of decay or periodontal disease.


And finally, correctly applied, a root canal can last up to 15 years and longer.

With no long-term effects, it may last the rest of your life without an issue, making it a worthwhile procedure.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Been told you snore? Issues that can cause snoring, from our dentist at Northern Beaches

Do you regularly wake up with a sore throat and a headache? Does your bed partner frequently wake you up and exile you to the sofa?


You aren’t alone; as many as 1 in 6 people worldwide are guilty of snoring as they sleep. While many people only do so when they are ill or have drunk alcohol, for other people it can be a more constant struggle. And it isn’t just the person that you share the bed with that pays!

Regular snoring has been found to disrupt sleep patterns, preventing you from reaching REM (rapid eye movement), which is essential to brain function and overall well being. On top of this, snoring has also been linked to recurrent migraines, sinus infections and even cognitive issues.

While it may seem unusual, if your bed partner and yourself have had enough of your nightly bellowing, it may be time to book an appointment with your dental practitioner.

At Northern Beaches, our dentist in Mackay can help you and your partner to get those all-important 40 winks. How? By inviting you in for an assessment, to determine the underlying reason why you are snoring. Depending on our findings, we may suggest lifestyle changes or send you for further diagnostic testing. Simple!

But what are some of the most common causes of snoring that our dentist in Mackay sees? Read on to find out.


A common reason many people snore frequently is due to their lifestyle.

If you smoke, consume alcohol or are taking prescribed medication, then these can all play a factor in your recurrent snoring. While our dentist in Mackay will advise you on smoking cessation and offer advice relating to alcohol consumption, you should always consult with your medical practitioner before altering any prescribed medication.


At Northern Beaches, we understand that many people work less manual jobs and more time is spent sitting at a desk in the majority of jobs.

But maintaining your weight at a healthy level is a key way to reduce issues surrounding snoring and so, if you feel that you may need to shed a few lbs, our team can advise you and we will see if your nocturnal noise resides as a result.

Undiagnosed illness

There are many undiagnosed ailments that can cause snoring; a key one is diabetes. Followed closely by a deviated septum, if you have lost weight, given up smoking and you are still being kicked out of bed, it may be time for you, our team and your medical practitioners to assess you for an underlying illness.

Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your lower jaw slips back and obstructs your windpipe as you sleep; this can be life-threatening as it cuts off your oxygen. If our team suspects sleep apnea, then we will refer you for a sleep study to assess the severity. If sleep apnea is confirmed, we can make a custom-fitted mouthpiece which will prevent your jaw from slipping back during sleep.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Is it time you visited our dentist in Mackay to care for your oral health?

Take some time for yourself


In today’s hectic and unprecedented world that we are living in, it is easy to put our dental needs to one side as we each focus on keeping healthy and looking after those we care for. However, if you have been neglecting your dental health in recent months, it may be time you sought out our dentist in Mackay to see if we can restore your oral wellbeing. By having your oral health assessed by our dental professionals, patients can ensure that any early indicators of gum disease are noticed early enough so that it can be prevented from spreading and they can be sure they are as dentally fit and healthy as they possibly can be.

Why seek out a dentist in Mackay?

As mentioned, many people are actively seeking out the services of our reliable dentist in Mackay as a way of ensuring their oral health is up to a standard that they do not have to worry about. Gum disease is the leading preventable cause of tooth loss in adults, and can even result in other areas of the body being affected if it is left untreated. One of the most common indicators that gum disease is in development is spitting blood when brushing. Anyone who notices this ought to seek out the aid of our reliable and trusted dental hygienist for a professional cleaning service.

What can a hygienist do?

The duties of a dental hygienist lie in preserving the patient’s oral health and making their mouth as clean and fresh as possible. One of the primary duties of a dental hygienist is to carry out a professional cleaning service of a patient’s teeth. Similar to cosmetic whitening, this cleaning service leaves patients with a visibly fresher, brighter looking smile and that super clean ‘dentist-fresh’ feeling in their mouths. However, unlike cosmetic whitening, the service that is carried out by a dental hygienist isn’t a purely aesthetic process, but something which aims to keep patients’ teeth at optimum health.

What does a professional clean involve?

Anyone who feels they could benefit from having their teeth professionally cleaned ought to seek out the services of a trusted dental hygienist. Undergoing a professional clean is typically a two step process. The initial stage is often referred to as the ‘scrape’ which is when the hygienist uses specialised dental equipment to remove all of the visible marks, stains and discolouration on the surface enamel. After the hygienist has used their equipment to remove all of the excess plaque and tartar – particularly in the more difficult to reach pockets and areas between the patient’s teeth – the second stage in the cleaning process can be carried out. This is commonly referred to as the ‘polish’ stage, and involves the patient’s teeth being professionally polished using specialised dental tools and equipment. After this stage has been carried out the patient’s teeth will both look and feel visibly cleaner and brighter. Anyone who feels they may have neglected their oral health in recent months ought to seek out a professional cleaning service through our trusted dental practice to get their oral health back on track.

All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

Been told your child needs braces? Five health advantages to early orthodontic treatment

As a parent, you strive to do your best for your children.

You want them to go to the best schools, get the best education and of course, you want them to get the best health care, so they can grow into happy, healthy adults.


But, most parents are left in a bit of a quandary when they are told that their child needs to have a brace fitted.

While it may seem that having your child fitted with a brace is purely cosmetic, there may be many additional health benefits to your child undertaking this treatment earlier in life.

At Northern Beaches Dental, our orthodontist and dentist in Mackay have helped children obtain a healthier, straighter smile, whilst also improving their health. We have a myriad of experience in orthodontics, and thanks to technology and alternative aligners, we may be able to offer your child a shorter treatment time with braces.

What are the health advantages of saying yes to having your child fitted with braces by our dentist in Mackay? Read on to find out!

Better digestion

It goes without saying that when an individual has a set of perfectly aligned teeth, they are able to chew and grind their food better.

If your child needs a brace to straighten misalignments, then this will gradually improve their chewing technique, allowing for better digestion and a reduction in gastrointestinal issues. Indeed, heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion will all gradually reduce as your child’s teeth straighten, allowing for better digestion and improved nutrition.

Reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay

Straighter teeth are easier to brush and our dentist in Mackay has seen many instances of oral hygiene improving due to the wearing of an orthodontic brace.

Misaligned, crooked or crowded teeth provide decay-causing bacteria with more places to hide and cause havoc in your child’s mouth; having their teeth straightened prevents this and in turn, reduces the formation of both dental decay and periodontal diseases.

Prevents bone erosion

Misaligned teeth can create additional pressure in the jaw as your child chews.

While this may not sound problematic, additional pressure to the bone can, over time, cause erosion and wearing down of the jaw. This also results in creating a lack of stimulation in other areas in the mouth, preventing adult teeth from erupting.

Straighter teeth equate to more equal pressure and stimulation, meaning a healthier jaw and symmetrical teeth.

Reduces prevalent headaches or migraines

There is evidence linking misaligned teeth to both headaches and migraines, due to bruxism and nocturnal grinding.

Braces reduce both night time grinding and bruxism, reducing tension in the muscles that can lead to these degenerative problems.

Prevents facial injuries

Ever bitten the inside of your cheek?

Misaligned teeth are more prone to biting cheeks, lips, and tongues and so having a brace applied to your child’s teeth will prevent any facial or oral injuries from occurring. Need any more reasons to have a brace fitted? Northern Beaches Dental in Mackay is happy to oblige!


All dental treatments carry potential risks. Contact your local dental team for more information about the procedures mentioned in this article.