Don't brush aside good dental hygiene

PHOTO: Don't brush aside good dental hygiene

After procrastinating for nearly two years, I went for a dental check-up last week.

After a cursory inspection, the dentist said that as I have not been keeping up with routine dental cleaning, the tea stains on the back of my teeth, along with plaque, had built up significantly.

So, it would cost $50 more to remove them.

Not to mention, it would also be more painful - as the dentist had to spend more time and use more force to make my teeth clean again.

Thankfully, I did not have any cavities or it might have been worse.

Lesson learnt: Visit the dentist, by hook or by crook, at least once a year. That is, if you want to experience less pain, both in the mouth and on your wallet.

It was not the only thing I learnt that day. During the session, the dentist asked about my dental regimen.

"How often do you floss?"

"Once every two days."

"Good, but you can do better. You should do it twice every day, once in the morning and once at night."

I knew that.

He continued: "And you should floss before brushing, so that the fluoride in the toothpaste can reach the grooves between the teeth."

I did not know that.

Therein lies one of the many missteps that people take when it comes to dental hygiene.

I have heard of people rubbing salt on their teeth to whiten them, swishing oil in their mouth to reduce sensitivity and brushing their teeth or gargling mouthwash three or four times a day to get rid of bad breath.

Honestly, I do not know whether these methods work or are advisable.

If they do, good for you - and do share your experience. I'm curious.

For me, I shall work on getting the basics right first.

chpoon@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 19, 2014.
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