Dentistry that doesn’t cost the Earth

At Tooth Dental we believe that dentistry shouldn’t ‘cost the Earth’.  In 2015 when Dr Lou set up Tooth Dental, she wanted to make the practice as ECO Friendly as possible.

Our eco ethos doesn’t affect our high standard of dentistry, strict infection control procedures or patient care, it simply means that at each stage we have considered how we could reduce our carbon foot print from the reception, tea room, the surgeries, sterilisation room and even the bathroom!

Our aim is to reuse, recycle and reduce our waste, water and energy as much as possible.

Reception and patient lounge:

  • We use LED lighting were possible.
  • We aim to be paperless and opt out of paper correspondence wherever possible. All our medical history forms are conveniently completed on an ipad, saving time and paper
  • We recycle all our toners and batteries at appropriate facilities.
  • Any professional printing is done on recycled paper or stock card (but we’d still prefer to just email)

The tea room:

  • Our staff created a policy for no disposable coffee cups, water bottles and takeaway containers. We love our keep cups!
  • We have a comprehensive recycling system. All food waste is placed in our Bokashi bin and then used to fertilise our plants and gardens. All cardboard, plastic and bottles are separated and recycled. We are working really hard to minimise what goes into our general waste

In the Surgery:

  • Dentistry is traditionally a large contributor to single-use plastic. We use reusable instruments and materials wherever possible. If it can be autoclaved, we use it!
  • We don’t offer amalgam fillings, all our composite resin fillings are free from Bisphenol A (BPA)
  • We said no to paper/ plastic cups! Our patient cups are all stainless steel and are autoclavable.
  • We use digital radiographs, eliminating the need for film and disposing of hazardous developing chemical. Plus reducing radiation exposure for patients.
  • Our patient packs are no longer in paper bags, we said goodbye to patient brochures and simplified the pack.
  • We offer great ECO and biodegradable alternatives to traditional oral care products (Eco Floss, Bamboo tooth brushes and tooth paste tablets)
  • We use autoclavable microfibre cloths in the sterilising room, rather than paper towel or single use microfibre towel

In The bathroom:

  • We use cotton hand towels in our bathroom, these are washed and line dried.
  • Our toilet paper is 100% recycled by Who Gives a Crap

Things we are working on changing:

  • Changing all of our lab impressions to a digital scanner, reducing impression material, packaging and transport.

We are continuously looking at new and improved ways to reduce our footprint, if you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them!

Oral Care Product Recycling

We are a proud collector for the Terracycle Colgate Oral Care Brigade. We encourage all patients to bring their used oral care products to their next appointment. Anyone from the local community (you don’t have to be a patient) is welcome to drop their dental products in our recycle bin free of charge. We have even got some of our local Kindy’s involved helping us collect products!

We donate all proceeds from our recycling program to a children’s charity, The Starlight Foundation.

What can be recycled?

Any brand of:

  • Empty floss containers
  • Cardboard packaging from toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • Empty toothpaste tubes and pumps
  • Electric toothbrush heads

All About Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth Eruption Chart (source:

It’s an exciting time when your child gets their first tooth, but all of a sudden there is something else to look after. Along with the sleep deprivation and copious amounts of drool due to teething we start worrying about their teeth. Is it coming through in the right position? What is that weird looking spot? Why is my child shoving their whole fist in their mouth?

Here is some information to try and ease your mind.

All About Baby Teeth

Generally your child will develop their first tooth by the age of one, although this can vary from not yet having any teeth to being born with their first tooth already. The baby teeth continue to come through until the age of 3 having a total of 20.

Around the age of 6 is when the first adult tooth starts to come through and baby teeth start to fall out. This will continue until around the age of 10-12 where all the adult teeth bar the wisdom teeth will have come through and the last of the baby teeth will have fallen out. Normally there will now be a total of 28 teeth.

Please have a look at this baby teeth eruption chart prepared by the American Dental Association:

Baby Teeth Eruption Chart (source:
Baby Teeth Eruption Chart (source:

Cleaning baby teeth

Start with a washer over your finger on the gums. When teeth first appear brush twice a day using a soft tooth brush and low fluoride kids toothpaste. (eg. Milk teeth, Colgate first). Since babies naturally swallow the toothpaste do not use adult toothpaste. Start flossing once the teeth are touching, often when molars are through.

Early loss of baby teeth can be from anything such as decay or trauma and can result in orthodontic concerns. Decay can be prevented by fluoride application which helps strengthen the enamel. It should be introduced to the enamel from about 6 months old through tap water and low fluoride toothpaste. If a baby tooth does fall out the space can be maintained to allow the adult tooth to come through properly.

Their first dental visit can start from when the first couple of teeth come through when you have your appointment. Getting them used to the sounds and environment, maybe sitting on your lap and letting the dentist have a quick look at their teeth and slowly progressing to them laying back in the chair and have a clean done. If at first they won’t allow this try not to stress, they will eventually. What’s most important is that they leave with a positive experience and have enjoyed their visit.

Any questions? Can the friendly team at Tooth Dental help you with a baby teeth issue? Please click here to make an online booking or give us a call on 3366 1737. If you’d like to use our contact form for your enquiry please click here

Your child’s first dental visit: creating a great first impression

first dental visitA visit to the dentist is a fun and important adventure where you will get your teeth counted and cleaned. Your child’s first dental visit is a milestone like your first words, your first haircut, or your first day of school. We are going to have a fun time which will set you up for a lifetime of excellent dental care and habits!

Your child’s first dental visit

At the dentist, you will be greeted by our front office girls who will be eagerly awaiting you and your family. While your parent fills out important information about you on our iPad, you can play on our duplo wall or read a book. Keep an eye out for the tooth fairy’s front door and letter box!

When we are ready, the dentist will take you through to their room. You get to sit in a special chair called the golden marshmallow and interact (play?) with some of our high tech equipment. We have an air and water pistol and a sucker. We will even use the air pistol to make you a balloon animal!

Just like a fireman wears a helmet, and a doctor wears a white coat and a stethoscope-the dentist has a uniform. We put on a mask, some gloves and glasses with small magnifiers on them. You get to wear a bib and some sunglasses.

With the push of a button, the chair lies back and becomes a bed. When you lie back, there is a TV on the roof playing a movie or a show on animals. Next we will count your teeth with a tiny mirror and counter. Did you know children have 20 teeth and adults have 32 teeth? Sometimes we take pictures or radiographs to check your teeth for cavities and see how your permanent teeth are growing in your jawbones.

We then clean your teeth with a special dentist toothbrush that spins around and around and tickles your mouth. After you sit up and rinse your mouth, we paint on some fluoride. Fluoride is a special foam that you swish around in your mouth-it makes your teeth very strong and protects you from cavities. It comes in a few yummy flavours that you get to choose from: mint, grape or even marshmallow!

We will have a chat about healthy foods that are good for your teeth, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and yoghurt. We will talk about which foods cause cavities like lollies, chocolate and soft drink.

The last thing that happens is that you get a goody-bag, which has a toothbrush, toothpaste and sometimes floss. We make sure you are an A+ expert at cleaning your teeth. High five! We can head back to the front office to make your next appointment.

Congratulations! You did really well. Wasn’t that fun? I can’t wait to see you again in 6 months!

Click here to learn more about our Children’s Dentistry service at Ashgrove.