Keys to a Healthy Mouth

The key to a Healthy Mouth!

Well I would like to approach this hygiene chapter in a slightly different way to all the other information on the internet. I will show you how to brush and floss like all the other sites do but I am interested in one outcome and one alone- ‘you actually doing it.’ Otherwise what is the point in reading this- well not a lot- you may as well sit on facebook for another 20 minutes. This page will save you so much time and money it is ridiculous.

As bold as this next statement sounds…. most new dental problems in the world can be solved by following the information given on the next few pages. That is those related to gum disease, dental caries and tooth wear. Obviously this excludes all the cosmetic issues.

The keys to preventing teeth problems are:
1. Oral hygiene
2. Diet
3. Fluroide
4. Dental visits.

Also important is:
5. Fissure sealants
6. Mouth guards
7. Night splints
8. Dental treatment.

Keeping your mouth healthy is not hard; in fact it is actually pretty darn easy so why do most of us struggle so much to do it?

Almost every day I show people how to brush and floss effectively and whilst some come back the for their next check up with major improvements- the majority and I mean vast majority of people are exactly the same. Why are my words falling on deaf ears when I give oral hygiene instruction (OHI for short)? I am pretty sure I am not alone in this experience.

How many have you have been to the dentist or hygienist year after year only to be told the same thing- ‘You have still got plaque around’, ‘You’re missing this spot’ etc. They show you how to do it properly; you then go home, do it for two days and then not until you have scheduled your next dental appointment when the thought of being told the exact same thing makes you floss three times a day in the hope that the dentist won’t notice.

A perfect example- I had a patient this morning who I could tell hadn’t been flossing as there was a lot of plaque and gingivitis in between her teeth. I asked her, “How have you been going with the flossing?” and she replied with a big smile, “I did it this morning!”

Unfortunately as many studies have proved, there is a bit of a lag when it comes to hygiene- what I mean is, it takes say five days or thereabouts, for plaque to begin to cause gingivitis. So if you don’t brush for one or two days, providing your hygiene was very good before, you won’t get gingivitis. However, leave this a little longer and the bacteria in plaque will start to cause an inflammatory response in your gums and they will start to swell. Remove the plaque and similarly it will take a few days for things to subside and go back to normal. So the way to try and beat the dentist’s lecture is brush and floss amazingly for at least a week before your appointment.

Unfortunately this doesn’t serve you very well in the long run since in the months in between you are susceptible to both gum disease and decay, the effects of which will not be reversed by your one off spring clean. Also, once the plaque has turned into hard calculus (unless you go and see another dentist before seeing your actual dentist, utterly defeating the point) ,it will be clear you have not been taking the proper care!