FAQs (and some not-so-FAQs)

Product FAQs
Terminology FAQs
Oral Hygiene Advice FAQs
Online ordering FAQs
Dental Professional FAQs
(for Members)
Do you have a question?

Product questions

What is an interdental brush?
How do I select the right size of interdental brush?
How do I use an interdental brush?
What is the difference between a toothpick and a dental stick?

Terminology questions

What is biofilm or plaque?
What is gingivitis?
What is periodontitis?
What is peri-implantitis?
What is the difference between the terms interdental and interproximal?
What is the difference between periodontitis and peri-implantitis?
What is
the difference between peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis?
What is
the difference between a dental hygienist and an oral health therapist?

Oral Hygiene Advice questions

What causes bleeding gums when brushing your teeth?
What causes sore gums?
What causes bad breath (halitosis)?
What causes dental caries (dental cavities or tooth decay)
?
What causes sensitive teeth?
How do I take care of my daily oral health?

How do I clean between my teeth if I don’t like floss?
How do I take care of my implants?
How do I take care of my braces and other orthodontics?
How do I take care of my dentures?
Why should I clean between my teeth?
Why should I clean my tongue?
Why do some women experience oral health problems when pregnant?
How do I best take care of my oral hygiene if I having oral surgery?
How do I best take care of my oral hygiene if I undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy*?

Online ordering questions

What is the wishlist?
How do I place an order?
How long does it take for delivery?
How much is postage?
What is the discount code and how do I get one?
Can I use my discount code more than once?
Can I share my discount code with a friend?
What is the difference between a Discount Code and a Promo Code?
What if I realise I have made a mistake in my order once it is processed?
What if I order the wrong thing and need to return it?
What if there is something wrong with my order?
Are my payment details secure?
I tried to register as a member but I do not have a customer number – how do I get one?

Can I purchase TePe from pharmacies?
How do I get in contact?

Dental Professional questions (for Members)

What are the benefits to my practice for becoming a member?
When can I use my Voucher Code?
Can my Voucher code be redeemed against an existing invoice?
I tried to register as a member but I do not have a customer number – how do I get one?
There are several dentists and hygienists at my practice who would like to register but we only have one customer number – what do we do?
How can I get more referral pads and patient education brochures?

Do you have a question?

Post it here and we will do our best to come back to you with an answer within two working days.
(If it’s a curly one we may need to take a little longer to investigate)

 

Product questions

What is an interdental brush?

An interdental brush is a small, specially designed ‘bottle brush’ shaped brush for cleaning between your teeth, where a regular toothbrush doesn’t reach. In addition to toothbrushing, using an interdental brush every day is an easy and efficient way of keeping your gums and teeth healthy and your breath fresh.

How do I select the right size of interdental brush?

Interdental brushes come in a large variety of sizes (quality also varies greatly). It is important to select a high quality interdental brush with a plastic coated inner wire. The larger the size of interdental brush, the longer and thicker the bristles should be, otherwise you may feel the wire ‘grating’ on your teeth (which indicates a poor quality interdental brush). If you don’t know what size you need, a good idea is to start with a mixed pack of interdental brushes or angled interdental brushes. Start with the smaller sizes and work up until you find the largest size* that fits comfortably and easily through the triangular gaps between your teeth at the gumline. You may need two or three different sizes to best suit all your interdental spaces.

How do I use an interdental brush?

It is important to note that interdental brushes are not used ‘up and down’ like floss between the teeth, rather ‘in and out’ along the gumline. They are not intended to be pulled through the contact points of your teeth (where the teeth touch, or almost touch near the top surface).

Insert gentle and move ‘in and out’ or ‘back and forth’ a few times and move to the next gap. Rinse the interdental brush as needed, and rinse thoroughly when you have finished. Store in a hygienic way either in a travel case or in a mini stand – each brush will last between 4 and 10 days (the larger ones last longer as they are more durable). You can watch the video here for more information.

More tips on cleaning between teeth here

What is the difference between a toothpick and a dental stick?

A toothpick is traditionally wooden, sometimes round, sometimes triangular. Triangular toothpicks a similar shape to the space between your teeth along the gumline, and are good for removing debris such a bits of food after a meal. Dental picks are between interdental brushes and toothpicks – and have small bumps on the surface which stimulate the gums and are more efficient at removing plaque and debris than a simple toothpick.

 

Terminology FAQs

What is biofilm or plaque?

Biofilm, also known as plaque is a sticky film filled with bacteria and oral secretions that builds upon teeth during the day and overnight giving you that ‘furry’ teeth feeling. Plaque causes gum inflammation, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay and bad breath (halitosis).

What is gingivitis?

A sticky film, bacterial plaque, constantly forms on your teeth. If you don’t clean properly, plaque will be left behind, especially between the teeth and along the gum line.

When bacteria rich plaque accumulates in these areas it causes the gums to become swollen, red and tender (gingivitis). Inflamed or infected gums may bleed when you clean your teeth. Interdental cleaning will help remove the bacteria laden plaque from between the teeth and in the gingival pockets (small pockets between your teeth and your gums) and treat gingivitis.

More information on gum disease

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is left untreated and is allowed to progress. The infection and inflammation spreads from the gums to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth, which causes the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. This disorder is uncommon in young children, but increases during the teen years.

What is peri-implantitis?

Per-implantitis is an infectious disease that causes inflammation of the tissue and bone surrounding the metal post of a dental implant (the part which is implanted into the bone), which leads to the loss of the bone which supports the implant. This is a long term risk of dental implants and if not treated can lead to the implant failing or falling out.

What is the difference between the terms interdental and interproximal?

The terms ‘interdental’ and ‘interproximal’ mean the same thing. Both refer to the space between your teeth. Cleaning interdental or interproximal spaces is challenging, however it is important to disturb the biofilm and get rid of the plaque and bacteria that causes gum disease and decay.

What is the difference between periodontitis and peri-implantitis?

Periodontitis is the inflammation and infection of the gum and bone surrounding a natural tooth; peri-implantitis is basically the same disease but around a dental implant. The bacteria in both diseases are similar, and the way to prevent both diseases is similar – an important part of prevention is good oral hygiene, particularly between the teeth and implants, and taking care of the surrounding gums. Both are characterized by inflammation and deep pockets (between the teeth/implant and the gums)

What is the difference between peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis?

Peri-implant mucositis is a disease where the tissues surrounding a dental implant are inflamed and infected, but the bone is unaffected (like gingivitis in natural teeth). With peri-implantitis the soft tissue and bone are both affected, which eventually leads to supporting bone loss. Peri-implant mucositis, like gingivitis, is reversible.

What is the difference between a dental hygienist and an oral health therapist?

A dental hygienist independently provides highly skilled preventive oral hygiene services to all age groups without cutting or removing teeth, and works in collaboration with a dentist to determine therapeutic treatment. Dental and Oral Health Therapists provide high quality oral care for children, adolescents and in some states young adults including examination, treatment and prevention. Oral Health Therapists possess qualifications in dental therapy and dental hygiene.

 

Oral Hygiene Advice questions

What causes bleeding gums when brushing your teeth?

Gingivitis is the most common cause of bleeding gums. When the gums are a little infected and/or inflamed they may bleed when you brush your teeth or use interdental brushes or floss. Other causes include using a toothbrush that is too firm; being a bit rough with interdental cleaning; or some medications. Some women also experience swollen, sore gums during pregnancy (pregnancy gingivitis).

What causes sore gums?

Sore gums can have the same causes as bleeding gums. Gingivitis – swollen, inflamed or infected gums, some medications, trauma to the gums from a sports injury for example, or from being to vigorous with floss or an interdental brush. Some illnesses and medical treatments can also cause sore gums. If you are concerned, it is best to visit your GP, dentist or periodontist (gum specialist).

What causes bad breath (halitosis)?

Sulfur-producing bacteria accumulates on the back of the tongue are one major cause of bad breath, which is why it is good practice to use a tongue cleaner or scraper. Other causes may be periodontitis (infection around the teeth) or poor oral hygiene, dry mouth (which can be caused by some medical conditions or medications), or cigarette smoking. Bad breath caused by pungent foods (such as onions and garlic) is usually short-lasting and can be helped with teeth brushing, breath mints or sugar-free chewing gum.

More advice on bad breath

What causes dental caries (dental cavities or tooth decay)?

Dental caries or tooth decay – affecting 60-90% of school aged children and almost all adults in industrialised countries – happens when bacteria on teeth that breakdown foods and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel. The acid is produced when sugars (mainly sucrose) in foods or drinks react with bacteria present in the dental biofilm (plaque) on the tooth surface leading to a loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel; this process is called demineralisation. Fluoride products such as toothpastes and fluoride gels can help with protecting teeth from demineralization and decay.

More advice on dental caries

What causes sensitive teeth?

There are many different causes of tooth sensitivity. Brushing too enthusiastically or with a toothbrush that is too hard can cause gum recession and abrasion, exposing the tooth root surface and wearing away the enamel. On the other hand, if you don’t brush enough and have a build-up of plaque, it can wear away your enamel. Grinding your teeth can also wear down enamel, exposing the sensitive dentin, and gum disease can also cause gum recession, exposing sensitive root surfaces. Acidic, hot or cold food or drinks can cause pain or sensitivity if your nerve pathways in the dentin are exposed. Some tooth whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes contain substances which increase teeth sensitivity. Decay around the edges of fillings can become sensitive. If your tooth is cracked, or if you have had a recent dental procedure such as a root canal, the tooth can also be more sensitive.

More advice on sensitive teeth

How do I take care of my daily oral health?

Good oral hygiene helps to prevent dental caries and gingivitis and improves oral health. Teeth should be cleaned twice a day with a small toothbrush from when they first appear (age approx. 6 months) and continue throughout life. The recommendation is brushing twice a day using a soft bristled, tapered head toothbrush for two minutes, and use 2cm of toothpaste (adults). If using a fluoride toothpaste don’t use more than a spoonful of water to rinse. From late teens, you should floss or use an interdental brush once or twice a day, and use a mouth rinse if recommended by your dental professional. Cleaning the tongue daily or as needed is also a great practice to maximize good oral health.

More advice on toothbrushing

More advice on children’s dental care

How do I clean between my teeth if I don’t like floss?

There are alternatives to flossing such as interdental brushes and dental picks . The main purpose of flossing is to clean between the teeth and a little beneath the gumline. Interdental brushes are gentle on the gums, easy to use, and have been proven to be more efficient than floss.

If you just don’t like flossing because you find it difficult, you might also like to try a pre-loaded flossette, which have a handle and bite plane so that you can ease the floss between your teeth by gently biting down on it.

How do I take care of my implants?

It is a big decision to get a dental implant, and quite a big investment. Taking care of them is equally important, if your mouth is to remain healthy and the implant successful. There is an estimated 5-15% failure rate of dental implants over 10 years, mostly due to inadequate oral hygiene measures. There are a variety of special toothbrushes to clean around implants and also under fixed implant dentures, as well as specially developed floss for implants and bridges.

More advice on caring for your implants

How do I take care of my braces and other orthodontics?

Good oral hygiene is particularly important when you have braces or other orthodontic appliances as they can act as a ‘plaque trap’, increasing the amount of plaque on your teeth, leading to tooth decay, tooth discolouration and gum disease.

Brush twice a day with a good quality toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, clean between teeth and around brackets using special orthodontic flossor interdental brushes daily to help keep the gums and teeth healthy. Fluoride gel can also be used around high risk areas such as around the brackets, to prevent demineralisation which can cause discolouration or decay. Specially designed toothbrushes are helpful to access the difficult to reach areas created by orthodontics and overcrowding. Remember to visit your orthodontist, dentist or hygienist regularly for check-ups.

More advice on caring for your orthodontics

How do I take care of my dentures?

Brushing your dentures daily with a firm denture toothbrush will remove food and plaque, preventing your dentures becoming stained. Brush your gums and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert dentures. Even if you have complete dentures, you still need to care for your gums.

Why should I clean between my teeth?

For good oral health it is very important to clean between your teeth every day. This is because daily, a sticky, film full of bacteria known as plaque or biofilm builds up on teeth.

Your tooth has five surfaces, and toothbrushing generally only takes care of three, so you also need to clean in between the teeth, and at the gum line. Cleaning with an interdental brush prevents gum inflammation, cavities and bad breath.

From your late teens it is time to start cleaning between the teeth every day, and this should continue throughout your life. Don’t stop cleaning between your teeth if your gums are sore and bleed – this is a sign of gum disease (gingivitis) and interdental cleaning will help treat this condition.

Why should I clean my tongue?

Up to 50% of the bacteria which causes bad breath lives on our tongue. The best way of neutralising bacteria that lives on the tongue and getting rid of accumulated dead cells is to scrape them off with a tongue cleaner. A toothbrush is not as effective, as it is designed for cleaning teeth, not the tongue. Overindulgence – for example fatty foods and alcohol – and also using some medications can leave a greasy or whitish coating on your tongue. Your health and wellbeing will benefit from removing it.

Why should I visit the dentist or hygienist regularly?

Regular visits to your dentist or hygienist are essential to maintain healthy teeth & Gums, as they can help spot oral health problems early. Early treatment is usually simpler and more affordable, and has a better health outcome. They may prevent problems before they occur, which is even better. It is recommended that you visit your dental professional at least once every six months. Dental professionals are also trained to help identify early signs of other oral diseases such as cancer.

Why do some women experience oral health problems when pregnant?

During pregnancy, increased hormone levels can affect your body’s response to plaque, which can lead to dental problems in some women, including gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay. Pregnancy does not automatically damage your teeth – if the mother has an inadequate calcium intake during pregnancy, her bones – not her teeth – will provide the calcium her growing baby needs.

Various research shows a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight, with estimates suggesting up to 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth so it is important to regularly visit your dentists or hygienist ideally before becoming pregnant, throughout your pregnancy and also in the post-natal period for advice to keep you and your baby’s mouths healthy.

Careful toothbrushing and interdental cleaning is especially important during this period to maintain oral health and also maximize systemic health, for both mother and baby.

How do I best take care of my oral hygiene if I am having oral surgery?

Oral surgery, such as an extraction or implant placement, also oral trauma such as a sports injury can present a challenge for good oral hygiene and the prevention of infection. Avoid rinsing the area for 24 hours – it is important to the socket or wound heal and let a blood clot form to protect the wound and prevent infection. Avoid chewing food on the affected side, and avoid very hot or very cold food and drinks. It is important to still clean the area so a super soft toothbrush is recommended which will be gentle to the affected gums while still removing the biofilm that contains bacteria. Rinse with luke-warm saline or salted water after the first 24 hours.

How do I best take care of my oral hygiene if I am undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy*?

Aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy kill cancer cells, but they may also harm normal cells. This can affect your gums, the soft lining of your mouth and your saliva production. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to monitor and help prevent any problems. Brush after every meal with a super soft toothbrush and clean between your teeth with floss or an interdental brush. Extra soft interdental brushes are recommended in this case as they are gentle on the gums. Use a fluoride based toothpaste, and avoid alcohol based mouthwashes – use water with salt or baking soda instead.

*This is also the advice for patients with HIV or later stage Hep B infection, or autoimmune diseases which affect the immunity and cells, and can cause inflammation and tenderness on the oral cavity.

Online ordering questions

What is the wishlist?

A wishlist is where you can tag your favourite items, and those that you might want to come back to consider ordering later. If you have an account these will appear in your favourites until they are removed – it is a good way to tag your favourite items as a shortcut reordering. If you do not have an account your computer will save your wishlist favourites for about 30 days or until you clear your cache.

How do I place an order?

Follow these ten simple steps

  1. Click on the shop and select the category of oral hygiene products you want to order, e.g. TePe Interdental Cleaning Products
  2. Select the type of product you want to order e.g. TePe Interdental brushes
  3. ‘Add to cart’ the different items you want to order then click on ‘View Cart’
  4. Change the quantities you wish to purchase, if ordering more than one of each item and click ‘update cart’
  5. Enter your discount code and click ‘Apply Discount Code’
  6. Proceed to Checkout
  7. Enter your name, delivery address, email, phone and any order notes e.g. deliver to front door if not home, Urgent order
  8. Click ‘create an account’ if you want plan to return to oralcare4u in the future to make purchases – this will save you from having to enter all your details again next time (you will be asked to select a password)
  9. Select your preferred payment method, and click ‘Place order’
  10. Enter payment details and click ‘Confirm and Pay’ – you will receive an email confirmation of your order.

How long does it take for delivery?

Depending on where you live, delivery takes between three and ten days. Our warehouse is in northern NSW so as a guideline, Brisbane takes 2-3 days, Sydney 2-3 days, Melbourne 4-5 days, Adelaide & Perth 6-10 days, Hobart 5-7 days. Add a day or two for regional or remote areas.

If your order is urgent let us know in the ‘Order Notes’ on the checkout page and we will see what we can do. Additional freight charges may apply – we will contact you if this is the case.

How much is postage?

Postage is a flat rate of $4.00 per order for all orders under $100. Orders over $100 are postage free. Parcels are sent with Australia Post receipted delivery service so you will need to sign for the delivery, either at your delivery address or the post office. If we are instructed to deliver to the door and leave if you are not home, without a signature, the order is sent ‘untracked’.

What is the discount code and how do I get one?

The discount code is a unique code provided to you by your dental professional if they are a member of the oralcare4u website. Ask your dentist or hygienist if they are a member of the program, and can they give you a discount code. This gives you a 10% discount of the value of your item purchases.

Can I use my discount code more than once?

Yes. You can use your discount code every time you order to receive your 10% discount. Keep it somewhere safe – you will have to enter it every time you order to receive the discount.

Can I share my discount code with a friend?

Yes, you can – the discount code you receive from your dental professional can be shared with friends and family so they too can benefit, receiving a 10% discount on their order.

What is the difference between a Discount Code and a Promo Code?

If you are a customer or have signed up to receive our special offers, from time to time oralcare4u will email you a voucher code for a special promotion. Unlike the discount code, a voucher code can be used once only, or a specified amount of times before it expires.

What if I realise I have made a mistake in my order once it is processed?

Once you have confirmed and paid for your order it will come to us ready for processing the next business day. If you realise you have made a mistake when you receive your order confirmation, call us on 02 6628 3866. If the order has not left our warehouse we can change it for you, and work out if there is any adjustment needed to your payment.

What if I order the wrong thing and need to return it?

If you find you have made a mistake in your order when you receive the goods, no problem. Just package them up well and send them back to us at P.O. Box 3013 Wollongbar NSW 2477 with a copy of the invoice or your order confirmation. We will exchange the item for you when it’s received and contact you if there is any need for a payment adjustment. You pay the postage back to us and we will pay the postage to exchange your item.

What if there is something wrong with my order?

If your order arrives damaged, or it is not what you ordered, call us on 02 6628 3866 and customer service will assist you. Please have your invoice or order number handy and we will work out the problem with you.

Are my payment details secure?

Absolutely. We use encryption software to protect your credit card details – payments are processed through eWay and we do not even receive the details. Your payment details are not retained if you create an account, you will have to enter them each time. Some people prefer to use PayPal, which is also a secure method of payment.

If you do not wish to use a credit card or PayPal account you can elect to do an EFT (electronic funds transfer) by using internet banking, or making a cash or cheque deposit into our account at the bank. You will receive the bank details if you select the EFT option when making a payment.

More information here on purchasing online, payment options and security.

I tried to register as a member but I do not have a customer number – how do I get one?

If you are a member of the public you do not need to register as a member. Membership is only for dental professionals working at dental clinics. Simply enter your details in the checkout area the first time you purchase. If you create an account, when you order next time you will only have to enter your email address and delivery details will be remembered. Payment details will not be retained.

Can I purchase TePe from pharmacies?

Absolutely. TePe products are available from selected pharmacies across Australia. Our stockist locator will show you all pharmacies that stock TePe products. We strongly recommend that you call the pharmacy and enquire directly if they have your desired items in stock. Location, map and phone numbers are provided on the site.

How do I get in contact?

If you need to contact us for any other reason, please call our customer service on 02 6628 3866 or send an email via our contact page.

More information here on purchasing online, refund and returns policy, payment options, privacy and security.

 

Members FAQs (for Dental Professionals)

So what are the benefits to my practice for becoming a member?

Ensuring your patients have access to the best quality and variety of oral hygiene products, to follow your oral hygiene instruction and recommendation is the first benefit. You receive a unique discount code from us when your clinic joins as a member, which when passed on to your patients gives them a 10% discount off the retail price of their purchase, further encouraging patient compliance.

Furthermore, you will receive 10% of whatever your patients spend as credit – ‘TrollDollars’ – that can be redeemed for any products from TrollDental

When can I use my Voucher Code?

TrollDollars can be redeemed when you place an order – you can order any product available from TrollDental (TrollDental, TePe, LM Instruments and more) with your TrollDollars. Provide your Voucher code when you place an order and we will give you this discount off your invoice.

Can my Voucher code be redeemed against an existing invoice?

You cannot apply TrollDollars retrospectively to existing orders of product received, TrollDollars are for ordering bonus product. You will have to provide your Voucher code to us when you place an order and you will receive the discount of this amount.

I tried to register as a member but I do not have a customer number – how do I get one?

If you are a dental professional and do not have, or do not know, your TrollDental customer number, please contact us on 1800 064 645 or send an email via our contacts page with a request to set up an account.

There are several dentists and hygienists at my practice who would like to register but we only have one customer number – what do we do?

Each dental practice, or TrollDental customer, can only register once. You will receive a unique code which is linked to your TrollDental customer number. Different practitioners within the same practice can use the same code. If you are a dentist, hygienist or therapist who works at several different locations, call us on 1800 064 645 and we will work out the best solution for you.

How can I get more referral pads and patient education brochures?

Simply call us on 1800 064 645 or send an email via our contacts page or fill in the order form and we can send you what you need.