Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to protect your smile

I got involved in a discussion about oral hygiene and bleeding gums the other day. I am amazed at the number of items and claims of dental care things on the market. I am even more amazed that a dentist told his patient with bleeding gums to use an electric tooth brush to make it better. A dentist I'm not but I know that gum diseases can arise and can be resolved but to 'just' say use an electric brush instead seems a far cry from professional advise for this issue.

Granted electric brushes have been around for a long time as is gum diseases. Many believe it is a better way to clean our teeth and keep our mouths healthy. The electric brush was never and perhaps still not common place in many households. So does a lot of people live with unresolved gum disease because they have no electric tooth brush? Come on doc, there has to be a real treatment and process for this patient.

How about talking about proper brushing techniques and frequency, types of tooth paste to use, throw in the flossing and rinsing pieces. Hmmm, maybe scaling, watching diets. How about a brushing demonstration to make sure the technique and timing is right. Some folks might feel insulted by a teeth cleaning demonstration but presented in the right way, it can be very enlightening and appreciated. Besides, a regular tooth brush - depending who you ask - is also a very good means to achieve proper and healthy dental hygiene. After all most of us grew up with brushing with elbow grease and have some awesome smiles and beautiful breath!

The electric or battery powered brushes are not cheap. How do you choose a brush with so many on the market. I understand that that the type of brush to buy wasn't even a part of the recommendation. He didn't name names, you know brands, styles, types. How about education as part of the visit and the treatment plan! Even a video in the waiting room, and directing the patients attention to it, on how to protect your smile could go a long way. I'm wondering if this recommendation was a brush off or just plain arrogance on the part of the dentist in sending folks off to go buy electric tooth brushes to treat their gum problems without proper guidance. This group obviously needed more information and instruction from the "professional." A poor job, Doc!

Hey the holidays are upon us, how about a gift of a dental hygiene kit to protect the smile of your loved ones! Say c-h-e-e-s-e, P-l-e-a-s-e!


Katherine (a.k.a. Katie) Corrigan said...

What a wonderful post (I like the one on electric toothbrushes above too.) My husband and I recently had a long talk with our grandchildren
( we have four, the fifth is on the way) about the importance of a healthy mouth. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body. I like the focus of your blog and the direction you take regarding educating children. It's wonderful.
Wishing you happiness, Katherine

philly5113 said...

Hi Katie,
Thank you for your kind comments. Well as you know the old saying,,,we must teach the children well and let them lead the way ...for our future.
Congrats on the grands and all the best to the family.