The friendliest DENTAL TEAM in Tauranga!

Dental Prevention

Best oral hygiene routine:

morning routine

  • Brush your teeth and gums at a 45 degree angle for 2 minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste eg. Colgate total
  • Spit out and do not rinse your mouth after brushing

evening routine

  • Brush teeth and gums with Clinpro 5000 toothpaste if higher risk for cavities or a regular fluoridated toothpaste e.g Colgate total
  • Floss: make a C-shape and hug your teeth
  • Interdental brush if recommended: fattest brush between the spaces six times (reuse the brushes)
  • Brush for 30 seconds with toothpaste again 
  • Do not use mouthwash
  • Spit out and never rinse



The most important preventative thing to do each day is to clean your teeth morning and night, to remove the plaque (food and bacteria) that has built up from eating that day. If plaque is left on teeth, over time, a hole or cavity is created which when sufficiently large will cause pain.

It is best to wait 20 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. They are in a weaker demineralized state, susceptible to damage due to the acid that is created when bacteria are breaking down food in your mouth.

The best toothbrushes are a small-headed toothbrush, either soft or medium bristles. Nobody needs to use a hard-bristled brush. Gum disease patients significantly benefit from a sonic-powered electric toothbrush. We stock these and the replacement heads at our practice.

Here is a video which shows how best to brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle, click here: manual toothbrushing video or electric toothbrushing video.





Brushing for 2 minutes in the morning and evening, with a fluoridated toothpaste strengthens your teeth against the foods and drink you eat, e.g. Colgate Total.

If you are higher risk to cavities or have multiple areas of demineralisation or teeth we are keeping under watch, we recommend using Clinpro 5000ppm which we stock at our dental practice. 

Clinpro 5000 offers increased protection against acid attack from decay-causing bacteria in the mouth and this will make your teeth stronger against the foods you eat. As your saliva production is reduced overnight, your teeth would benefit the most from 5000ppm toothpaste as your evening toothpaste, if you are prone to cavities. 





Flossing your teeth daily will clean between the tight tooth contacts to prevent decay and cavities. It can help stabilise a pre-cavity where food is getting stuck.

Here is a great flossing video to explain the C-shape you are trying to create and how you hug your teeth with floss to remove the 40% of plaque you will miss if you only brush your teeth; click this flossing video






Do not ignore your gums if they are bleeding! They need help through flossing and interdental brushing to remove the bacterial plaque.

It takes 10-14 days of daily flossing for your gums to be strong and healthy and stop bleeding; see why by clicking here: how to stop bleeding with flossing!


Patients with gum disease or larger gaps between their teeth also need to use interdental brushes daily to avoid progression of gum disease into periodontitis.

Use the fattest brush between the spaces six times to clean both sides of the teeth gap. You can rinse and reuse these brushes until the bristles wear out.

Here is a video on how to use these brushes: click this interdental brushing video.

See our Gum Disease page for more information on how to prevent this.






Once a week, you can plaque disclose your teeth. Chewing a tablet and licking your teeth all over with the liquid, stains plaque bright purple making it easy to see where you are missing brushing / flossing / interdental brushing. This is a great test for your oral hygiene routine. If you ensure you remove all the purple stain, then you will greatly reduce the chance of you getting cavities and gum disease. 

Here is a video on how to use the tablets, click here: plaque disclosing video


Fizzy or energy drinks are highly sugared and caffeinated, which causes poor concentration, increases addiction to sugary drinks and cavities in your teeth due to the combined acid and sugar content. Plain tap water is your best friend for your teeth as it cannot cause decay! Carbonated water or sparkling water, even from soda-streams, is a mild acid, which can damage your teeth even though it is has no sugar content.

Acid erosion from any carbonated drink softens the outer layer of the teeth making it more susceptible to breaking down over time.

Here is a video about how energy drinks damage your teeth, click here: what energy drinks do to your teeth

We recommend to avoid or limit these acidic drinks as they will demineralise your teeth which is irreversible: lemon water, smoothies, kombucha, energy drinks, fizzy drinks, Coke Zero or equivalent, any juice including fresh juice, sparkling water and black coffee. If you have these drinks we would recommend using a reusable straw to bypass your teeth.

sugarfree chewing gum

Chewing gum can help neutralise the acid produced in your mouth from eating and drinking. If you chew gum for 15 minutes after eating a snack or a meal, this will get the pH level of your mouth back to neutral which means your teeth are not in a demineralised state. 

Over-chewing gum for a long time can lead to jaw problems so 15 minutes is a good amount of time.


Eating a bag of lollies is not something we recommend, but frequency is key in accelerating decay in your mouth. If you ate a bag of lollies at once, this is one sugar and acid attack on your teeth; it takes 20 minutes for the saliva in your mouth to neutralize to ph7. If you ate one lolly every 5 minutes for an hour, this is much worse for your teeth as they are decaying over a much longer time. It is better to treats all at once rather than spreading them out.


Snacking of any food damages your teeth the more times a day you eat.

Regular recall appointments are scheduled on a low, medium or high-risk maintenance plan. Low risk patients are seen every two years and may have a hygiene clean at 12 months. Higher risk patients such as people with gum disease or multiple early cavities or heavily filled teeth are seen 4-6 monthly by our hygienist for gum disease prevention, and annually by our dentist for prevention of progression of dental problems.


During a new patient assessment, or recall appointment, we assess your:

  • Jaw joints, muscles that move your jaw, lymph nodes and glands under your chin and neck
  • Soft tissues in your mouth to check for any abnormal changes such as red or white spots, on the inside of your cheeks, lips, tongue, under your tongue, tonsils and the roof of your mouth. This is to assess for oral cancer and other conditions that may present in the head and neck.
  • Teeth for decay, cracks, condition of current fillings or crowns, decay around old fillings, defective or chips, using air to dry the teeth, a mirror and a probe
  • Gums to check for gum disease such as bleeding gums, calculus, pockets using a periodontal probe. 4mm pocketing or more is a sign of gum disease that requires treatment and long-term ongoing maintenance to achieve health.
  • X-rays are taken to assess the condition of the current fillings, any decay, how close the filling or decay is to the nerve of the tooth. Subsequent x-rays may be required to assess the wisdom teeth or multiple heavily filled teeth; these are either taken with more small x-rays with a close-up view of the root, or a full mouth panoramic x-ray.
  • Photographs are taken of any teeth the dentist needs to take a close eye on and compare if there are any changes at recall appointments; further treatment may be required.
  • A treatment plan is given to all patients that require further work with costs per item displayed. There are always a variety of options for each tooth, whether it be doing nothing, or doing something that lasts a short, medium or the longest time. Our treatment plans are tailormade for every patient and can be modified if circumstances change.
    • Hygiene recommendations for optimal gum health maintenance will also be advised in the treatment plan whether they are 3, 4, 6, 9 or 12 monthly.


I had my first visit at Garden Dental today on recommendation from a friend. Fi made me feel very welcome and is super friendly and caring with a very down-to-earth yet professional manner. I felt quickly at ease which is just what you want when you visit the Dentist. Everyone at Gardens was in fact wonderful and friendly. I'm very happy and will definitely will be coming back :-) thanks again!!
Natalie Thompson  
I can not recomend Fiona and Vicki enough. Have always dreaded going to the dentist until these guys. Cannot stress how easy they made each appointment, they give the good drugs so you dont feel a thing. They are also lovely and friendly and always great at making you laugh. seriously cant recomend them enough : )
Ali Uden  
I have never felt so relaxed or happy about going to the dentist. Fi and Vicky are incredible and make me feel so at ease. I really wouldn’t go anywhere else!!
Sian Casserly  
What an absolutely refreshing change to go to a dentist and come out after an amazing, painless process. Have not regretted changing to Fiona and her team.
Steve Bolt  
One of the best dental experiences to date. Fi was fun and lighthearted which made for a pleasant appointment. Super gentle and checked in with me often to make sure I was ok. Can’t recommend her and her skills enough!!
Kristy Whitchelo  
Fi and Vicki you are honestly such a fantastic dental team. I have been visiting for many years now and can not speak any more highly of you both. You make my visits feel so relaxed that it doesn't feel like you are even at the dentist. Thank you girls for always looking after me, you are the best
Louise Fox  
Just recently had a cleaning & cavity filled by the lovely Fi from Gardens Dental. She is amazing and works wonders not only on your teeth but also to ensure you are comfortable and at ease during your time with her! Would highly recommend her to anyone needing a local dentist!
Jess Lowcher  
First review because I just wanted to say Fi and Vicky are honestly the scared of dentists but they have made it the best experience ever. Very gentle, zero pain for multiple complicated procedures and don’t make you feel bad about not going to the dentist for ages ..they are super cool!
David Weaver  
Fiona is great to deal with and goes the extra mile, even ringing you in the evening to check that all is well. She is highly professional and a breath of fresh air. A thoroughly honest and approachable dentist.
Jez Rogers  
I had extensive work done on my lower teeth and a new top denture made. It was almost a fun experience.
Fi & Vicki are a great team, and their constant banter helped me to relax. They did so much to improve my smile and my self confidence. I highly recommend them both.
Helen Roberts