Oral Health Questions:
Everyone has different needs, so it’s important to talk to your dentist about how often you should get your teeth checked. It will be probably be based on the health of your mouth, teeth and gums.
It’s recommended that children see the dentist at least once a year, and generally adults it’s about once every six months. However if you have any risk factors such as gum disease, cavities, diabetes, a smoking habit or a family history of dental problems, it might be more often.
When you arrive, you’ll fill out a brief medical history form. This makes sure that we have all the information we need to give you the most appropriate care. If you’ve got any questions when filling this out, our friendly team will be available to help.
You will then meet with your dentist, who will chat with you about any concerns you may have, before doing an assessment of your teeth, gums and jaw. Your teeth will be assessed for signs of decay. If you have any fillings, crowns, or other previous dental work, we’ll also check that they’re still intact and functioning correctly. Other areas that may be examined are the soft tissues of your mouth (such as your tongue and the inside of your cheeks), your bite, salivary glands, and lymph nodes. Your dentist will be looking for possible issues that could affect your oral and overall health.
Depending on your circumstances, we may take radiographs (X-rays), molds or conduct an oral cancer screening. Some people may need more attention in certain areas; we’ll explain these steps to you, keeping you informed throughout the check-up.
The dentist will explain the results of your assessment and create a treatment plan for you. We’re always happy to discuss any questions you might have about your treatment so don’t hesitate to ask!
Your dentist or dental hygienist will then professionally clean your teeth. We believe strongly in patient education, so we’ll also discuss oral hygiene techniques and recommend next steps in your oral health journey.
Regular dental check-ups are a chance for your dentist to have a look at your teeth, mouth and gums, to detect and treat any problems early on if necessary, or prevent them from developing altogether.
In addition to assessments, having your teeth regularly cleaned by a professional can further reduce your risk of developing other dental and health problems. Almost 50% of Australian children experience tooth decay by age 121 and almost 90% of tooth loss is due to conditions that are preventable with proper dental care1.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Chrisopoulos S & Harford JE 2013. Oral health and dental care in Australia: key facts and figures 2012. Cat. no. DEN 224. Canberra: AIHW.
There are some problems that won’t be noticeable to you at home which is why it’s important to get regular check-ups.
There are some warning signs that you can spot yourself. Look out for:
- Gums that are swollen, tender, bleed when you brush or floss, or appear red (gums should be a pale pink color)
- Oral pain, especially while chewing
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Consistent bad taste in mouth
- Teeth that are unusually sensitive to temperature.
If you notice any of these, contact your local Bupa Dental clinic to book an appointment.
As a general rule, kids should first visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting. This could be anywhere from one to two years of age. However, if you’re concerned at any point, you can always bring them in for a visit. And if they haven’t been to the dentist by the age of two, it’s a good time for them to get an oral health assessment.
We usually try to make that first visit more about familiarizing your child with the dental clinic. We want to add a little bit of fun wherever possible. A healthy dose of fun can keep things relaxed and comfortable!
We’ll also do a quick check to make sure there aren’t any pressing issues. One of our hygienists or dentists will give you some tips on how to clean your child’s teeth and make good oral hygiene a habit.
- Be sure to brush at least twice per day, using a gentle, circular motion. If you’ve just eaten, wait 30 minutes to brush, since highly acidic or starchy food can soften your enamel. Don’t forget to brush your tongue - bacteria love to accumulate here.
- Remove plaque by flossing at least once a day. Gently move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, as well as around the gum line.
- After brushing and flossing, rinse with water. You can also use antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash (avoid giving fluoride rinses to children younger than six). Since different people can benefit from different rinses, speak with your dentist about which product is best for you.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or when you see the brush head is worn and bristly.
- Avoid snacking on sugary or acidic foods.
- Swap sugary beverages like juice or fizzy drinks for tap water.
- Chew sugar-free gums, which can stimulate saliva production. Saliva is one of your mouth’s best natural defenses against bacteria and plaque!
Health Insurance Questions:
All health insurance policies are different and coverage for dental services can vary, so we recommend that you speak with your health insurance provider for details.
Bupa members with extras cover are covered for 60% - 100% back on most dental items (yearly limits apply)*.
Bupa members, if you’d like to find out more about how you covered for your next dental treatment, call 134 135 or visit your local Bupa Centre.
*For most items at all Members First extras providers covering dental. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Fund and policy rules and waiting periods apply.
Depending on the level of Extras cover you have, you can be covered between 60% to 100% back when you visit a Bupa Dental clinic or a Members First dental provider*.
You can log into my Bupa to check your cover. If you’d like to find out more about changing your level of cover, click here to read more.
Bupa also provides gap free for most kids dental on selected covers, up to your yearly limits at Members First providers**.
For more information, contact Bupa on 134 135 or visit a Bupa Centre.
*For most items at all Members First providers. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Fund and policy rules, waiting periods and yearly limits apply.
**Fund and policy rules, waiting periods apply. Child defendants only. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatment. Available on all family packages, Ultimate Health Cover, Silver, Gold and Platinum Extras cover when taken with hospital cover on a family membership.
Bupa Dental is a Members First clinic.
With the appropriate Extras cover, Bupa members can enjoy the same benefits at Bupa Dental and Bupa Members First clinics, including certainty of out-of-pocket costs on most dental items*. All clinics are accredited to National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, reinforcing our commitment to an outstanding customer experience.
Price certainty and customer-centered care is about eliminating guesswork and making you feel as comfortable as possible.
*When treatment is provided by a Members First provider, which includes Bupa Dental. Fund and policy rules, waiting periods and yearly limits apply. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments.
Gap free dental covers most kids dental treatments on selected covers, up to your yearly limits at Members First providers*. This includes check-ups, cleans, x-rays, fillings and more.
For more information, contact Bupa on 134 135 or visit a Bupa Centre.
*Fund and policy rules, waiting periods apply. Child defendants only. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatment. Available on all family packages, Ultimate Health Cover, Silver, Gold and Platinum Extras cover when taken with hospital cover on a family membership.